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Primera División

  • November 21, 2010
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio Municipal de Anoeta, Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
  • • Attendance: 28000
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La Liga Preview: Real Sociedad - Atletico Madrid

La Liga Preview: Real Sociedad - Atletico Madrid

Los Colchoneros go to the Basque Lands, aiming to reassert themselves in the race for the top four against la Real...

Back With A Bang

Sunday’s Primera Division action concludes with a fascinating tie between Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, two sides who have tasted the top four this season only to have fallen off the pace somewhat in recent weeks.

That the home side have taken a tumble can be classed as unsurprising. Though historically a club that competes towards the sharp end of the Primera Division, la Real are fresh out of the Segunda and are still establishing themselves as a top level force.

Nevertheless, head coach Martin Lasarte would have been rather disappointed to have squandered a three-match winning streak at Hercules last weekend, especially after taking the lead against a side whom they bettered over course of last season. The players would certainly express dismay that they had lost when they spoke to the press after the game.

The 2-1 defeat in Alicante may have brought the Basques down to size somewhat, but their home record going into Sunday night’s encounter against los Colchoneros certainly doesn’t deserve to be ignored. Only Real Madrid, who won 2-1 in September, have been good enough to take anything away from Anoeta, which is regaining its intimidating atmosphere, despite its open bowl-like appearance.

With a passionate home support behind them at the weekend, the Txuri-urdin will hope to make yet more waves.

Good Schedule


If Real Sociedad’s hopes this season extend to little more than simply securing a place in the middle order of clubs, the same cannot be said of weekend opponents Atletico Madrid, who have their eyes firmly fixed on a European place, with a spot in the Champions League the ultimate goal.

Los Rojiblancos went about their quest with promise at the start of the season but have since shown signs of vulnerability. Presently the capital outfit lie seventh in the standings, having recently experienced a three game streak without a victory.

That was brought to an end last weekend when two goals from Diego Forlan sandwiched a strike from Sergio Aguero, carrying los Colchoneros to a 3-0 success against Osasuna. It was a cathartic experience for all involved, but especially the Uruguayan, who had previously endured a highly uncharacteristic streak of 12 appearances without a goal.

Juan Valera is unfazed ahead of the weekend fixture, explaining the next two encounters are crucial.

“We’ve thought about [winning both games], getting the three points in Anoeta, where there will be a complex match, and then against Espanyol,” he explained. “If we take the six points we will be put in a very, very good position. We know we have a schedule where we can get into a very good position.”

Coach Quique Sanchez Flores should have some significant reservations over his side’s away form prior to the trip north. On the road they’ve played five times this season in La Liga, yet they’ve earned a disappointing four points.


TEAM NEWS

Real Sociedad

Joseba Llorente, whose form has been excellent lately, is doubtful due to an injury sustained in training on Wednesday. Club medics are optimistic that he should feature.

Raul Tamudo, Imanol Agirretxe and David Zurutuza are all available for the Basque side, whose health is excellent.

Atletico Madrid


Sergio Aguero has been training with the main squad since Thursday after overcoming a slight thigh problem, but there is bad news over Diego Costa, who may be forced to miss this match due to an ankle issue.

Sergio Asenjo, Diego Godin and Borja Gonzalez will all miss out again.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13Claudio BravoGoalkeeper
3Mikel González MartínezDefender
15Ion GorostolaDefender
24Alberto De la Bella Defender
2Carlos Martínez DíezDefender
11Mikel Aranburu EizagirreMidfielder
19Diego RivasMidfielder
10Xabi PrietoMidfielder
17Zurutuza Midfielder
7Antoine GriezmannStriker
9Joseba LlorenteStriker
13ZubikaraiGoalkeeper
-Mikel LabakaDefender
4Gorka Gorka Elustondo UrkiolaMidfielder
21VigueraStriker
5Markel BergaraMidfielder
20Raúl TamudoStriker
26Jeffrey SarpongMidfielder
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
14L. PereaDefender
-Tomas UjfalusiDefender
2Diego GodínDefender
3Antonio LópezDefender
21ReyesStriker
4Mario SuárezMidfielder
5TiagoMidfielder
-SimãoMidfielder
10Diego ForlánStriker
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
1JoelGoalkeeper
-Filipe LuisDefender
20Juan ValeraDefender
15Álvaro DomínguezDefender
8Raúl GarcíaMidfielder
-Diego CostaStriker
12Paulo AssunçaoMidfielder
Players to Watch
Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 0 0
Antoine Griezmann is in such form that he’s impossible to ignore presently. A major piece in la Real’s push to earn promotion, the young French attacker was initially left out of the starting XI at the beginning of the campaign, but he has quickly adapted to life in the top flight and is now one of his side’s star men. Scored with a fine header in last weekend’s loss.
David de Gea
David de Gea
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
There have been reports this week that young goalkeeper David de Gea could be on his way to Manchester United imminently. What is indisputable is that the young shot-stopper has been in quite simply magnificent form for his club, performing to a strong level on a regular basis. Arguably the 20-year-old has been the best custodian in Spain thus far.
Prediction
Only Real Madrid have so far walked away from Anoeta unscathed, and it’s unlikely that Atletico Madrid will replicate their city rivals when they go to Real Sociedad’s home. With Diego Forlan back in scoring mood, though, they will fancy themselves to earn a point against a team who have gone very well in La Primera to date this season.
Editor's Prediction

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