Real Madrid play their first home match of the Copa del Rey this season against Real Sociedad on Thursday. This will be the second time Real have faced the Basque side this season after meeting back in November with a 3-1 win for Los Blancos at home.
Sociedad started off very strong this season and have fallen off a bit since, now in eight place in La Liga. However, only five points keep them from a Champions League spot currently. They have convincingly beat both of their Copa del Rey opponents leading up to this matchup.
Of course, all eyes will once again be on Real loanee Martin Ødegaard who is having a very strong season. So much so that he has said that he wants to stay for another season in San Sebastián on loan.
This will be Real’s toughest opponent of the tournament so far. Their last two opponents have been a Segunda División B side and a Segunda División side, respectively. So, there will most likely be a tougher grind to advance to the next stage.
Real Madrid still do not have Eden Hazard fully fit to be included in the squad. They will also be without Gareth Bale, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro.
Sociedad will be without Diego Llorente, Illara and David Zurutuza.
Courtois; Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema
Alphonse Areola has started both of the previous Copa del Rey matches. Given that this is a much tougher opponent, Zidane may go with Courtois.
Mendy has also been a starting choice over Marcelo as of late.
Zidane will likely go with Rodrygo and Vinicius alongside Benzema up top with no Vazquez, Bale or Hazard. James is an option as well.
Remiro; Gorosabel, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Muñoz; Guevara, Ødegaard, Merino; Barrenetxea, Oyarzabal, Isak
Real Madrid—Real Sociedad 2-0
This is a very tough Sociedad side that Real will face on Thursday. At home, it’s a bit of a confidence boost, but Sociedad are still a formidable club that can eliminate Real if they are not careful.
Real should be able to deliver the win in front of the Bernabéu faithful and advance to the next round, but Sociedad are not to be taken lightly at all this season. Sociedad score goals, but they’ve also conceded a lot this season as well.
This will be an interesting matchup and tough for both clubs as they will both be featuring in their toughest Copa del Rey match on Thursday. It won’t be easy, but Real should be confident enough that their long unbeaten streak can maintain through to the next round of this tournament.