11.00 BST, Sunday 29th October, Coliseum Alfonso Perez (Getafe, Spain)
Two mid-table sides with contrasting ambitions meet in the early kick-off on Sunday morning. Recently promoted Getafe are sitting in 14th position and are looking to maintain the distance between them and the drop zone. Azulones have put in some really eye-catching performances this season, including a 4-0 home win against Villarreal. Perhaps most impressively have been their two narrow 2-1 losses to Barcelona and more recently, rivals Real Madrid. They will hope to put up a similarly battling display against Sociedad.
Real Sociedad, who have enjoyed a decent European campaign so far, are seeking to retain their top 6 status after a mixed start to the league season. Jokin Aperribay’s men are only 2 points of the European qualification places but will need to start building up some consistency against sides lower in the table. They are certainly an entertaining side, but will need to demonstrate some defensive focus if they are to stand out in a highly congested top half of the table.
Last Time Out
Levante 1-1 Getafe (La Liga)
Getafe performed well in this fixture between the two recently promoted sides. Having taken a second-half lead through Moroccan midfielder Faycal Fajr, the scores were levelled only 4 minutes later by Levante’s Jose Luis Morales. Both sides look comfortable at this level but, in the end, the away side were unlucky not to come away with a win.
Real Sociedad 1-1 Espanyol (La Liga)
A lack of composure in front of goal really cost Real Sociedad in a match which they dominated for the most part. An early header from Leo Baptistao put Sociedad behind but they responded with a brilliant attacking performance which produced chance after chance.
They only found fruit in the 69th minute, a finish from Asier Illarramendi helping them to a share of the spoils. The frustration became too much for Sociedad towards the end of the game who picked up 4 yellow cards in the last 5 minutes, including 2 for goal scorer Illarramendi.
Getafe will be without key player Jefferson Montero as he remains out with a calf injury. Fellow left winger Dani Pacheco may also miss out with a shoulder injury. Japanese midfielder Gaku Shibasaki looks to return in the coming week but Sunday morning may be too early for his injury comeback.
Real Sociedad Lineup
Eusebio Sacristan will not be able to call on the services of right back Carlos Martinez, who is not set to return until late December. Experienced midfielder David Zurutuza and centre forward Immanol Agirretxe are both doubts. Asier Illarramendi will be suspended after his sending off against Espanyol with Sergio Canales a likely replacement.
Key Battle: Markel Bergara (Getafe) vs Xabi Prieto (Real Sociedad)
Real Sociedad have looked vulnerable to counter attacks throughout this season and Markel Bergara, 31, will be very important if Getafe are looking to exploit this. His ability to break up attacks could prove a useful asset, particularly with the likes of Faycal Fajr to feed in attack.
With key midfielder and goalscorer Asier Illarremedi suspended, Real Sociedad will look to their veteran Xabi Prieto, 34, to maintain control in the middle. He has also chipped in with 2 goals and 3 league assists this season and will be even more important in the absence of the sometimes temperamental Illarramendi who has been one of the standout performers of their season.
An overreliance on Faycal Fajr?
The Moroccan winger has been in fine form this season, contributing a goal and 3 assists as well as being by far the most consistent contributor to attacking phases. Nearly half of Getafe’s attacks have come down the right-hand side of the field, mostly at the feet of Fajr. As his last round display against Levante showed, this policy may occasionally pay off, but to win more consistently they will need to show a bit more cutting edge in the centre of midfield.
Real Sociedad guarantee the goals
Only Barcelona and Valencia have scored more than Sociedad’s 20 league goals this season. The goals have been nicely spread between scorers with 4 players scoring at least 3 in the first 9 games. Whilst this is clearly a positive thing, only Las Palmas, in 18th position, have conceded more than Sociedad’s 20. They have certainly been involved in many spectacles this season, but in the long run will hope to bank on a few more quieter but more efficient performances.
Prediction: Getafe 2-2 Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad will hope to have too much for Getafe and will feel confident in scoring at least a couple of goals. In spite of this, Getafe have tended to save some of their best performances for the bigger sides and are more than capable of grabbing a few of their own against a very flimsy Sociedad defence. This should be a very entertaining watch.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?