Real Madrid get back to La Liga competition after taking a short break to start their Champions League title defense with a 3-0 win over APOEL. On the other side, Real Sociedad won midweek 4-0 over Rosenborg in the Europa League.
In the table, Real Madrid currently sit seventh on five points, while Real Sociedad sit second on nine points.
Sociedad have won all three of their La Liga games thus far scoring ten goals to make them the highest scoring team in the Spanish top flight. They’ve won their last four games in all competitions by a combined score of 14-4. They’re in incredible form and Real Madrid will be tested in each facet of the game.
The struggles Real Madrid have had will be made worse by injuries and suspensions. They’ll be without Cristiano Ronaldo, Mateo Kovacic, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, and Marcelo due to either suspension or injury. Marcelo and Kovacic have pretty cut and dry replacements, but choosing how to lineup the attack without Ronaldo and Benzema will be tough for Zinedine Zidane.
He’ll likely select his front three from Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Isco, Borja Mayoral, and Lucas Vazquez. It remains unclear if Zidane believes that Mayoral is ready to start in a pretty important game for Real Madrid. The likely option seems to be playing Bale up top and then having Isco and Asensio behind him, but Vazquez still has a chance.
Whether or not a typical Real 4-3-3 is deployed remains to be seen, but Bale played as a forward in his late Tottenham days and may be able to supplement time up top before Ronaldo returns.
Real Madrid are still in a great position to deal with injuries and suspensions. They’ve built an incredibly deep and talented squad to deal with the difficulty of a season in multiple competitions. Now we just have to see how Zidane positions his side in this important league matchup.
Projected starting XI:
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Hernandez; Casemiro, Isco, Modric; Vazquez, Bale, Asensio
Real Sociedad: Rulli, Odriozola, Navas, Elustondo, Rodrigues, Prieto, Illarramendi, Zurutuza, Januzaj, Juanmi, Jose
How to watch
Time: 20:45 CET, 02:45pm EST, 11:45 am Pacific.
Venue: Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain.
Available Streaming: BeIN Sports (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madrid game with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a summer discount for new members and Managing Madrid readers).
Prediction: Real Sociedad 1 (William Jose) - 2 Real Madrid (Isco, Asensio)