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Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad, La Liga 2016-17: Match Preview

The Basque side travel to the Bernabéu

Celta Vigo v Real Madrid - Copa Del Rey Quarter-final: Second Leg Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Real Madrid and Real Sociedad are kindred souls, each coming off of midweek eliminations from the Copa del Rey. Each will undoubtedly be motivated to get back in gear after crashing out of the domestic cup, Madrid focusing on staying atop the table, Sociedad trying to lock down a European position.

Real Sociedad have become a very dangerous team after they tripped over their own feet out of the gate. La Real have been strong on the road, particularly of late, having won four of their last five Liga matches. They sit level on points with Atlético, which might say more about Atléti than Sociedad, but still, Eusébio’s squad deserves credit.

They’re also something of a Jekyll and Hyde squad. Their goal difference is six, the only single-digit goal difference in the top six, which would lead one to believe La Real has a specialty in winning close games, however it hasn’t really been the case. Most of their games are two or three goal differences, and it’s just matter of which side La Real feel like being on.

For Madrid, it seems Zinedine Zidane is throwing his hands in the air as if to say, “I dunno, either,” when it comes to lineup. This squad is so laughably depleted that he’s just using players and formations as buckets to throw water overboard to keep the ship from sinking while key players get healthy.

Zidane, who followed the Copa exit by praising his team for showing up well, isn’t getting rattled.

“I cannot tell you why [we are missing chances] recently but I am not worried nor angry,” Zidane told ESPNFC.

Madrid beat Sociedad to start the season in August, and they found success by attacking over the top, and without notice. Asensio and Bale shined, running past defenders and finishing clinically. La Real are still susceptible to these sort of defensive gaffes, but as the season’s gone along they’ve gotten better at finding the net themselves. It’ll be a reunion of old friends, with both Asier Illarramendi and Esteban Granero likely to start in midfield. Each has been great at providing service for Willian José, who’s been a real threat up top.

This is certainly a worrisome game, and it would be even without all the injuries. Here’s hoping Real can find the net early the way they did against La Real in August, and control the rest of the game.

Kickoff: 29th January 2017 at 2:45 PM EST

Projected lineups:

Real Madrid (lol this is a complete and utter guess who the hell knows what Zidane’s going to do): Navas; Nacho, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Danilo; Casemiro, Kroos, Kovačić; Asensio, Benzema, Ronaldo

Real Sociedad: Rulli; Martínez, Navas, Berchiche, Zaldúa; Sergio Canales, Esteban Granero, Kurutuza; Willian José, Juanmi, Carlos Vela

Staff Predictions

Result (1) Score (2) Goal Scorers (3) Total Score
Result (1) Score (2) Goal Scorers (3) Total Score
Om RM Win 2-1 CR7, Ramos; Higuaín 42
Kiyan RM Win 3-1 Benz, CR7, Asensio; Pjanic 45
Timm RM Win 2-1 (RM win extra time) CR7, Ramos; Dybala 41
Mike - - - 34
Lucas RM Loss 1-2 CR7; Higuaín, Dybala 26
Nate RM Win 4-2 -CR7x2, Bale, Morata; Higuain, Dybala 47
Marc - - - 3
Lewis - - - 10
Tommy RM Loss 1-2 Benz; Higuaín, Mandzukic 19
Naguib RM Win 2-0 CR7, Bale 29
Vicki - - - 1
Ondra RM Win 2-0 CR7, Ramos 18
Jack RM Win 2-2 (RM win on pk's 4-3) CR7, Ramos; Dybala x2 6
Matt RM Win 1-0 CR7 8
Sam RM Win 2-1 - 1
José RM Win 3-1 CR7 x2, Morata; Mandzukic 3

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