Real Sociedad v Deportivo La Coruna – Anoeta Stadium at 20:00 Live at Sky Sports
Friday night’s fixture from La Liga feels like a do-or-die contest for Real Sociedad head coach Eusebio Sacristan. Despite a wonderful 2016/17 that saw La Real finish sixth – their fourth top-half finish in five seasons – things have turned sour in the beautiful Basque city of San Sebastian.
Largely keeping the bulk of their squad together through the summer, many were expecting another competitive campaign. Although Europa League duties could prove problematic, nobody expected to see Sociedad struggling towards the bottom end of the table at the turn of the year.
La Real may be six points clear of the drop-zone but a fourth successive defeat last time out at Villarreal (2-4) intensified the pressure on Eusebio. His team have won just once in 10 since November’s international break, losing on six occasions.
Sociedad was blown away by a barnstorming opening 20 minutes, falling 3-0 behind before asserting themselves on the Yellow Submarine. In truth, the Basques never looked like gaining a foothold on proceedings and that’s concerning been the case for some time.
Goals on the agenda
A defence that shipped 53 goals last season – more than anyone else in the top half – has continued to concede at an alarming rate. Eusebio’s men have kept only three clean sheets as only four teams have leaked more goals in La Liga and that in turn has led to numerous high-scoring contests.
With rivals Athletic Bilbao completing the signing of key defender Inigo Martinez this week, La Real’s backline looks especially vulnerable. And seeing as a huge 24/59 (41%) of matches since the start of last season produced four or more goals, it’s hard to resist backing a repeat here.
Sociedad has seen the Over 3.5 Goals barrier beaten in seven of their 11 Anoeta outings this term and their visitors Deportivo have delivered 15/21 (71%) profitable Over 2.5 Goals selections themselves, making the 1.81 on Over 3 Goals particularly appealing when the two teams lock horns.
With 10 minutes to play in their meeting with fellow strugglers Levante last week, Deportivo were out of the relegation zone. The Galicians were 2-0 up and on course for only a second success in 11 games since October.
However, two late goals from Ivi turned it around and meant La Coruna would be forced to share the spoils. Similarly to Sociedad, Depor has been atrocious at the back, conceding 19 goals in their last six matches and an average of 2.60 goals-per-game on their travels this term.
But the visitors do pack a punch of their own going forward. The likes of Lucas Perez, Florin Andone and Adrian Lopez are too good a forward line for a team in the relegation zone and it’s worth noting that Deportivo has scored in all five of their trips to bottom-half clubs with all five matches featuring at least four goals.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3 Goals at 1.833
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