What: Spanish La Liga
Who: Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid
When: Saturday 29th October, 2011, at 21:00 UK time
Where: Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain

Struggling for Survival

Points are hard to come by for Real Sociedad at present and things will be no easier here with the visit of high-flying Real Madrid to Anoeta. While Basque stadiums usually provide intimidating surroundings for any travelling team, this might not be the case this time as the two teams prepare to lock horns.

With one win out of four games at home – against fellow strugglers Granada – luck has not smiled on the Basque outfit. Their latest setback has come at the hands of surprise leaders Levante, in a match whose outcome was unfair, according to Sociedad coach Philippe Montanier: “We deserved more to win than lose. I’m sad for the players, but I am confident for the future because the team has left a good feeling. I think my players might have played the best game of the season”, declared the Frenchman.

While two goals scored away from home against La Liga’s best defensive side Levante remains a positive for Sociedad, the team will want to find inspiration when they welcome Real Madrid. However, with Los Blancos’ recent form, this remains easier said than done.


One of Europe’s most in-form sides at the moment, Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid prepare to travel north to the Basque country as they play guests to a battered and bruised Sociedad. Given their current circumstances, anything less than a win would surely be a setback for the visitors.

Against Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid completed a month of absolute champagne football. Since the team’s 6-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano last September, Los Merengues have found the net 28 times and conceded just three in the space of seven games. These results have coincided with the return to form of Kaka, who was on the scoresheet in the last game. The Brazilian playmaker highlighted his team’s all-round performance, saying that it was at the basis of the side’s recent wins: “The stronger the group, the more Madrid wins. I am more comfortable and confident now”, pointed out the Brazilian.

Even more importantly, the team has shown that they are not solely “Cristiano Ronaldo +10”, as the likes of Kaka, Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria continue to chip in. With the imminent return of Nuri Sahin from injury, Real Madrid are only heading in one direction.

Recent form

Real Sociedad:
Real Zaragoza 2-0 Real Sociedad (16/10; La Liga)
Real Sociedad 0-0 Getafe
(23/10; La Liga)
Levante 3-2 Real Sociedad
(26/10; La Liga)

Real Madrid:
Real Madrid 4-0 Lyon
(18/10; Champions League)
Malaga 0-4 Real Madrid (22/10; La Liga)
Real Madrid 3-0 Villarreal (26/10; La Liga)

Key absences

Real Sociedad: Asier Illarramendi (doubt)

Real Madrid: Lassana Diarra (doubt); Raul Albiol (doubt); Ricardo Carvalho (doubt); Nuri Sahin (doubt)

Players to watch

Real Sociedad – Xabi Prieto: The midfielder is a pillar of Real Sociedad, and on his day, can cause much damage to the visitors. His personal battle with namesake Xabi Alonso could have a great say in the outcome of this game.

Real Madrid – Angel di Maria: The Argentine winger is enjoying a wonderful patch, recently providing assists for Benzema and Kaka before slotting home the third against Villarreal. His trickiness can baffle the Real Sociedad players and turn the night into one of toil for them.

Match Prediction

There really is only a minimal chance of Real Sociedad usurping their visitors. Better in every aspect, Mourinho’s men should carry on their fine form with an important away win, with first place very much on Los Blancos’ mind. Expect a 3-0 scoreline in their favour.

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