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Villarreal logo
La Liga | Gameweek 16
Dec 9, 2023 at 5.30pm UK
Estadio de la Ceramica
Real Sociedad logo

0 - 3
Real Sociedad

Capoue (22'), Pedraza (49')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Merino (38'), Zubimendi (41'), Kubo (45+4')
Zubimendi (60')

Preview: Villarreal vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Villarreal and Real Sociedad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two teams in good form will lock horns in Spain's top flight on Saturday evening, with Villarreal welcoming Real Sociedad to Estadio de la Ceramica.

The home side will bring a five-game unbeaten run into the La Liga contest, while Real Sociedad are without a loss in their last six matches in all competitions, recording four wins in the process.

Match preview

Villarreal coach Marcelino reacts on December 5, 2023© Reuters

Villarreal's decision to re-appoint Marcelino as their head coach in the middle of November has proven to be a success thus far, with the Yellow Submarine unbeaten in their five games under him, including draws in their last two fixtures with Sevilla and Maccabi Haifa.

The Castellon-based outfit have struggled to impress in La Liga this season, boasting a record of four wins, four draws and seven defeats from their 15 matches, which has left them in 12th spot in the table on 16 points.

For a team that finished fifth last season, the standards have dropped this term, currently sitting 15 points off fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, but they have picked up four points from their last two La Liga matches, including a 1-1 draw with Sevilla last weekend.

The Yellow Submarine are second in their Europa League group, meanwhile, sitting two points behind leaders Rennes ahead of their meeting in France next week, which will decide first spot in the section and an automatic spot in the next stage of the European competition.

Villarreal recorded a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad when the two teams locked horns in the corresponding match last season, but they have lost two of their last three games with the Basque outfit.

Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil with Martin Zubimendi on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Real Sociedad, meanwhile, were in Copa del Rey action on Wednesday evening, securing their spot in the third round of the competition courtesy of a 1-0 success over Andratx, with Andre Silva netting the game's only goal.

The Basque outfit were held to a 1-1 draw by Osasuna in La Liga last weekend, though, with the result leaving them in sixth position in the table, boasting 26 points from their opening 15 matches of the season.

Imanol Alguacil's side have won seven, drawn five and lost three of their La Liga matches this term, which has left them two points behind fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao and five from Atletico Madrid in fourth.

Real Sociedad are already through to the knockout round of the Champions League, and they will meet Inter Milan in Italy next week to determine which side tops the section.

The White and Blues, who are unbeaten since a 1-0 reverse to Barcelona on home soil at the start of November, have picked up seven points from their last three league matches and will finish the year with games against Villarreal, Real Betis and Cadiz in Spain's top flight.

Villarreal La Liga form:

Villarreal form (all competitions):

Real Sociedad La Liga form:

Real Sociedad form (all competitions):

Team News

Villarreal's Yeremi Pino celebrates after winning the Europa League on May 26, 2021© Reuters

Villarreal will again be missing Aissa Mandi, Yeremi Pino, Alexander Sorloth and Denis Suarez for this weekend's contest due to injury problems.

Meanwhile, Alberto Moreno and Dani Parejo are doubts for the home side, with both players requiring late fitness tests before it is determined whether they can feature this weekend.

There will be changes from the side that started against Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League on Wednesday evening, with Jose Luis Morales, Alfonso Pedraza, Gerard Moreno and Raul Albiol among those set to come back into the team for the La Liga affair.

As for Real Sociedad, Carlos Fernandez and Martin Merquelanz will be unavailable for selection due to knee problems.

The visitors will also be without the services of key central defender Robin Le Normand, with the 27-year-old picking up a milestone booking in the league game with Osasuna last time out.

There will be wholesale changes to the side that took to the field for the team's Copa del Rey contest on Wednesday evening, with Mikel Merino, Takefusa Kubo, Martin Zubimendi, Umar Sadiq and Kieran Tierney among those set to return to the XI this weekend.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Jorgensen; Foyth, Albiol, Cuenca, Pedraza; Alti, Comesana, Capoue, Baena; G Moreno, Morales

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Traore, Zubeldia, Pacheco, Tierney; Mendez, Zubimendi, Merino; Kubo, Sadiq, Oyarzabal

SM words green background

We say: Villarreal 1-1 Real Sociedad

Only one of the last five La Liga meetings between these two sides have finished level, but we are expecting the spoils to be shared in this contest. Neither are losing at the moment, and having both played on Wednesday, a tight fixture this weekend might finish all square.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
CReal Madrid37297187266194
4Atletico MadridAtletico372341068432573
5Athletic Bilbao371811860372365
6Real Sociedad371612951371460
7Real BetisBetis37141494845356
14Celta Vigo371010174455-1140
15Las PalmasLas Palmas37109183246-1439
16Rayo Vallecano37814152947-1838

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