This is a big match. They’re all big when you dig yourself a hole like we have, but this one is no joke. La Real sit in 5th place, desperately needing points to keep chase for the top four, we are currently well out of Europe and need every single point we can get to haul ourselves back into that fight.
Early in the year, it looked like Real Sociedad might be in the conversation for a title challenge, but as the year has gone on and they have tried balancing multiple competitions it has become clear that they do not have the depth for that. Since the first time we got promoted to the top flight, the only away side to win at the Anoeta more often than us is Real Madrid, as we’ve won 9 of our 18 appearances here. We have not, however, beaten Real Sociedad in our last three attempts. The good news is that Real Sociedad haven’t scored in three matches, so we are definitely catching them in their ebb as a side.
Are we really really going to turn the corner for real? An ocean of goals has come through in our two Copa Del Rey, we have beaten Atalanta and got us a much needed win against Rayo the last time out. A win at Real Sociedad would be a huge statement to the league that we are going to be an entirely different beast the second half of the year.
Gerard Moreno changes so much for this team. As we desperately look to create threat from all our midfield possession, his ability to drop deep and receive the ball is the link that makes it all work. He and Danjuma seem to form a good partnership up top, and I’d really like to see Samu Chukwueze thrown into that mix as well because we know how much of a game changer he can be.
Emery has seemed to go away from the slow playing out from the back in favor of a more direct approach, which is exactly what we’ve been calling for here at the site and in the comment sections. If he continues to do that in this one, I really like our chances.
Riding high on optimism for this one, 3-1 Villarreal win!