Real Sociedad v Real Madrid – Anoeta, Donostia at 19:45 Live at Sky Sports
The last time Real Sociedad started the season with three wins was 1981 and they won the league. It might not happen this time around but the Basques are sitting pretty at the top of the table alongside Barcelona on merit.
La Real dispatched Deportivo La Coruna 4-2 in their most recent La Liga outing, taking a two-goal lead inside four minutes. That advantage was wiped out, only for Eusebio Sacristan’s side to strike twice more late on to deservedly pick up maximum points.
Sociedad tabled their fourth top-half finish in five campaigns last term, ending up sixth and securing qualification to the Europa League. The rapid progress made under Eusebio can only be admired and the San Sebastian club appear in a healthy position having kept the bulk of their squad together.
The Basques return to their Anoeta base on Sunday night and will be confident of at least causing Real Madrid a few headaches here. On home soil, La Real boast a W5-D1-L3 record against Spain’s big three over the past three seasons and although Los Blancos have beaten Sociedad in their past two visits here, now could be an excellent time to play the defending champions.
Madrid’s stuttering start
Zinedine Zidane’s guests have made a stuttering start to their season. Madrid were forced to come from behind to pick up a point against both Valencia and Levante at the Bernebeu in their most recent league encounters to already trail arch-rivals Barcelona by four points.
The European champions hit the post and spurned a catalogue of chances against Levante last week with Zidane opting to rest and rotate his squad. The French boss admitted he was pleased with his team’s performance but he does now have a few selection concerns for Sunday night.
Marcelo was red carded and will join Cristiano Ronaldo on the banned list whilst Karim Benzema is expected to be out for up to a month with injury. Considering Gareth Bale’s is shot of confidence and form, Madrid’s superstar team isn’t looking quite so formidable right now.
The betting angle
Saying that, the visitors of course deserve maximum respect. Los Blancos have notched in each of their past 72 matches, scored more away La Liga goals than any side last season and have lost just three league games since the beginning of 2016/17.
Still, Real remain vulnerable at the back – keeping only 10 clean sheets in that 39 match sample – and so I’m happy to find a way of getting Sociedad onside here. The hosts have already plundered 10 La Liga goals this term and are kind 1.77 shots when given a +1 start on the Asian Handicap.
This selection will see our stake returned should Madrid win by exactly one goal. A draw or home success will see our bet paid-out as a winner.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Real Sociedad +1 at 1.781
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