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Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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            Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

            As the Spanish La Liga approaches its climactic final stages, an intriguing fixture lights up the calendar this Friday. Real Sociedad will host Real Madrid in a match that holds considerable weight for both teams, albeit for differing reasons.

            Date: 26/04/2024

            Kick-off time: 20:00

            Location: Anoeta

            Currently positioned 6th in La Liga, Real Sociedad have amassed 51 points from 32 matches. This season has arguably been a step back from the previous campaign, where they secured a top-four finish and with it, Champions League football. The drop in performance levels this season has been noticeable, as they have failed to replicate the consistency that marked their play last year, despite starting the season very impressively.

            Despite these struggles, La Real remain in contention for a spot in European competitions. Although the prospect of returning to the Champions League seems remote—they trail 4th placed Atlético Madrid by 10 points—their ambitions for securing European football are still alive. The more realistic target is overtaking rivals Athletic Club, who are seven points ahead in 5th place with a game against Atlético Madrid on the horizon, to secure a spot in the Europa League. This would be a commendable achievement and would provide a platform to build on for the next season.

            Imanol Alguacil, the manager of Real Sociedad, has been a pivotal figure in shaping the team’s style and fortunes. Under his stewardship, the team have developed a cohesive playing style, focusing on ball control and tactical discipline. However, the slight dip this season suggests that adjustments are needed to regain their top form.

            In stark contrast, Real Madrid have been the epitome of dominance in La Liga this season. Positioned at the summit with 81 points from 32 matches, Carlo Ancelotti’s side are on the verge of clinching the league title. An eleven-point advantage over their closest rivals, Barcelona, with just four games remaining makes them the undeniable favourites to lift the trophy.

            Real Madrid's season has been marked by not only consistency in the domestic league but also success on the European stage. Having recently secured their place in the Champions League final after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Manchester City, the morale and confidence within the squad are palpably high. This success in Europe underlines Madrid’s pedigree and resilience, qualities that have been evident in their domestic campaign as well.

            Ancelotti’s influence on this team cannot be overstated. His tactical acumen and experience have been crucial in navigating through both tight league matches and the knockout nature of European competition. The team have balanced defensive solidity with offensive verve, making them a formidable unit capable of overcoming any challenge.

            The recent encounters between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid add an intriguing historical layer to this match-up. Madrid have had the upper hand in recent times, winning three of the last five meetings. One of these encounters ended in a draw, and Real Sociedad managed one victory. This record will give Madrid confidence, but they will be wary of a Sociedad side that has enough quality to pose serious threats.

            Given the context of the season and what is at stake for both teams, this upcoming match promises to be more than just a routine fixture. For Real Sociedad, it is about salvaging pride and securing European football. For Real Madrid, it is about moving a step closer to officially claiming the title and continuing their momentum ahead of the Champions League final.

            Tactically, both managers have distinct styles that will clash in this encounter. Imanol Alguacil prefers a high-octane, attacking style that focuses on utilising width and creating overloads in the final third. The challenge will be to break down Madrid’s robust defensive setup and find gaps in what has been a very disciplined backline.

            On the other hand, Ancelotti might opt for a more pragmatic approach given their position in the league. With the luxury of a sizable lead, he could afford to rotate the squad with the focus now firmly on the Champions League, giving some key players a rest ahead of crucial fixtures. However, Ancelotti’s respect for the competitive nature of La Liga means that Madrid will still field a team capable of securing a result.

            As Friday approaches, anticipation builds for what promises to be a compelling fixture in the Spanish top flight. For Real Sociedad, it’s a chance to prove their mettle and push for European qualification. For Real Madrid, it’s an opportunity to edge closer to another league title and continue their impressive form.

            Real Madrid To Win

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            Real Madrid To Win @ 7/4
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            Real Madrid To Score 2+ Goals

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            Real Madrid To Score 2+ Goals @ 13/8
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            Both Teams To Score

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            Yes @ 8/11
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            Team News

            Real Sociedad Team News:

            Brais Mendez and Martin Merquelanz are expected to miss out for the home side once again while Carlos Fernandez is a major doubt.

            However, Igor Zubeldia and Martin Zubimendi will be available for selection after missing the game at the weekend through injury.

            Real Madrid Team News:

            Madrid may well rest a few faces for this game given they have a huge Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich on the horizon.

            Éder Militão, Brahim Díaz and Nacho could all come into the starting XI for Los Blancos, while Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba will continue to miss out.

            Form Guide

            Real Sociedad are in good shape heading into this game having registered three wins and two draws in their last five games. Most recently, Sociedad were held to a 1-1 draw at Getafe, where Ander Barrenetxea's goal was only enough for a solitary point.

            Prior to that, Sociedad drew 2-2 with Almeria, where goals from Sheraldo Becker and Mikel Oyarazabal were cancelled out by an 88th-minute Almeria penalty, a result that followed a 1-0 win over Deportivo Alaves, a 2-0 win over Cádiz and a 3-2 win over Granada. In that period, Mikel Merino, Arsen Zakharyan, Robin Le Normand and André Silva have all registered on the scoresheet.

            However, Sociedad's form on their own turf has actually been very poor lately, as they enter this game with just one win in their last five matches on home soil, losing three of those.

            Real Madrid are in great shape as they come into this game unbeaten in their last seventeen games in all competitions, winning four of their last five. The weekend saw them pick up one of their most satisfying wins of the season where Jude Bellingham netted a 92nd-minute winner to seal all three points in El Classico in a 3-2 win over Barcelona, where Vinícius Júnior and Lucas Vázquez also got their names on the scoresheet.

            Prior to that came Real Madrid's penalty shootout win over Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals, which followed a 1-0 win over Mallorca, thanks to Aurélien Tchouaméni's wonder goal, which was preceded by a 3-3 draw against Manchester City and a 2-0 win over Athletic Club.

            Madrid have still been very strong when playing away from home as they come into this game having won three and drawn two of their last five league games on the road.

            Footy Accumulators Prediction

            Madrid may rest one or two players but they'll still have an extremely strong side on the pitch and it's hard to find a reason as to why they won't win this. Sociedad's form on home soil has left a lot to be desired in recent weeks so three points for the visitors feels like the most likely outcome here. Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid.

            Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

            Header logoPrimera División

            PosClubPWDLGDPTS
            5
            Team logoAthletic Club
            3718118+2365
            6
            Team logoReal Sociedad
            3716129+1460
            7
            Team logoBetis
            3714149+356
            Last updated 23/05/2024

            Header logoPrimera División

            PosClubPWDLGDPTS
            1
            Team logoReal Madrid
            372971+6194
            2
            Team logoBarcelona
            372575+3482
            3
            Team logoGirona
            372467+3278
            Last updated 23/05/2024

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