Real Madrid - Real Sociedad Preview: Hosts look to stop the rot against Philippe Montanier's side
After dropping four points in the space of four days, the league leaders vie to bounce back against the Basque outfit at the Santiago Bernabeu without the suspended Jose Mourinho
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo
Callejon, Kaka, Ronaldo
Cadamuro, Gonzalez, I. Martinez, De la Bella
Prieto, Zurutuza, Griezmann
Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil are suspended for Real Madrid's La Liga encounter with Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
The duo were dismissed in the ill-tempered 1-1 draw at Villarreal along with boss Jose Mourinho, who serves a touchline ban.
With Ricardo Carvalho struggling to recover from a thigh problem, Raphael Varane looks set to start in central defence in place of Ramos.
Fabio Coentrao is likely to be involved after being omitted for "technical reasons" against Villarreal, while Angel Di Maria (thigh) is still sidelined.
Carlos Martinez and Markel Bergara are out injured for Real Sociedad, who look to recover from Wednesday's 3-1 home defeat to Levante.
Gorka Elustondo misses out after his red card against Levante, as does Dani Estrada, who received his fifth yellow card of the season in the same match.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid's 1-1 draw at Villarreal was the first time they had dropped points away from home since a goalless stalemate at Racing Santander in September.
- The Castilian side have won their last six encounters against Real Sociedad.
- Karim Benzema (pictured right) has scored 60 goals in all competitions since joining Madrid, nine more than the club's next highest French-born goalscorer, Zinedine Zidane.
- Real Sociedad have lost six of their last 10 matches in La Liga.
- The Basque outfit are on a four-game losing streak away from home.
- Sociedad's last victory at the Santiago Bernabeu came in May 2004.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid 8-0 Real Sociedad
- 13.65 %
Real Madrid 1-1 Real Sociedad
- 10.44 %
Real Madrid 4-0 Real Sociedad
- 10.09 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||9 Nov 2013||Real Madrid 5 - Real Sociedad 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||26 May 2013||Real Sociedad 3 - Real Madrid 3|
|La Liga (LIGA)||6 Jan 2013||Real Madrid 4 - Real Sociedad 3|
|La Liga (LIGA)||24 Mar 2012||Real Madrid 5 - Real Sociedad 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||29 Oct 2011||Real Sociedad 0 - Real Madrid 1|
|18 Dec 2013||Real Madrid 2 - CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0||ESPC|
|14 Dec 2013||Osasuna 2 - Real Madrid 2||LIGA|
|10 Dec 2013||Copenhagen 0 - Real Madrid 2||UCL|
|7 Dec 2013||CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0 - Real Madrid 0||ESPC|
|30 Nov 2013||Real Madrid 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|3||Mikel González Martínez||Defender|
|24||Alberto De la Bella||Defender|
|11||Mikel Aranburu Eizagirre||Midfielder|
Back-to-back 1-1 draws for Madrid has blown the Liga title race wide open and Barcelona will be smelling blood after seeing the way Mourinho's side lost their composure at Villarreal. Madrid have looked a little heavy-legged in recent weeks, but they should put Sociedad to the sword to preserve what is still a sizable lead over their arch-rivals.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed