La Real host Benfica on Wednesday at the Reale Arena. Last month, Real Sociedad left Portugal with a hard earned 1-0 win over this week's opponent and they will be looking to repeat that result once again.
Group D has been the group of fine margins so far and Real Sociedad come out of it on top. After three matches, La Real sit in first place, winning twice and drawing once. Brais Mendez has been immense for his side, scoring in all three matches and he is the joint top scorer in the competition. Imanol Alguacil Barrenetxea has crafted an extremely well drilled defensive unit that is difficult to bypass and Sociedad have the joint best defensive record in the competition, conceding just one goal.
Txuri-Urdin base their game plan on strong defensive foundations, but that does slightly hinder them in the final third at times. This is evidenced much more when Sociedad travel however, as they score an average of 2.14 goals at home per game in the La Liga. Barrenetxea's team sit in seventh place after 12 matches, winning five, drawing four and losing three.
Benfica experienced success in the Champions League last season, but they haven't been able to replicate that in this years competition. After three matches, they sit bottom of Group D, losing all three and failing to get on the scoresheet, which makes them one of two teams to have a goals scored record of 0. As Aguais have been slightly unfortunate however, losing 1-0 to Inter and Real Sociedad, and suffering a 2-0 defeat to RB Salzburg whilst having ten men for almost all the tie.
Having said that, Benfica have continued to dominate in the Liga Portugal, winning 80% of their matches and only losing once. After ten matches, they take up the spot in second, scoring 2.1 goals per game on average and boasting the second best defensive record of 0.8 conceded on average per ninety. Roger Schmidt's team have won five of their six away games, with their only defeat this season coming on the road.
Although Real Sociedad have a very respectable defensive record, Benfica should take more risks on Wednesday which should see them score their first goal. Yet, this may also leave them slightly open to the counter attack. Both teams scoring is likely.
The final prediction is Real Sociedad 1-1 Benfica.