Top-six hopefuls Villarreal and Real Sociedad lock horns in La Liga on Monday evening at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
The hosts enter this match with confidence soaring after winning six of their previous eight matches, including victories over Valencia and high-flying Getafe.
Javier Calleja will also be buoyed by the club’s stellar record against their Basque opponents. The Yellow Submarine boast just two defeats in their last 16 La Liga games against Real Sociedad (W10 D4), and the last time they lost this fixture was August 2018.
With three games remaining fifth-placed Villarreal remain six points behind the top four. Meanwhile, six points also separates them from seventh, which is currently occupied by their opponents on Monday night.
Real Sociedad face a tough run-in with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid lying in wait after their midweek encounter with Villarreal, but victory in Valencia would reduce the gap on their yellow counterparts to just three points, and will certainly add an extra layer of pressure heading into the final few games.
Where to watch Villarreal vs Real Sociedad on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN SPORTS
Where to live stream Villarreal vs Real Sociedad:
UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Villarreal vs Real Sociedad live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- ‘Join now’ and enter details.
- Log in and fund the new account.
- Pick the desired event from among the ‘live now’ or ‘schedule’ sections in Bet365’s ‘live streaming’ category.
*Geo restrictions apply, 18+ only, must have a funded account, BeGambleAware. All odds and offers within this article are accurate at the time of writing (12/07/20, 12:00)
Villarreal & Real Sociedad’s previous line-ups:
- Villarreal (vs Getafe): Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Moreno; Anguissa, Iborra, Cazorla, Ontiveros; Moreno*, Chukwueze.
- Real Sociedad (vs Granada): Moya; Elustondo, Llorente, Le Normand, Munoz; Zubimendi, Merino, Barrenetxea, Oyarzabal; Portu, Willian Jose.
Villarreal will enter this match without top-scorer Gerard Moreno and midfield general Vicente Iborra, while Paco Alcacer, Carlos Bacca and Ramiro Funes Mori are all sidelined for this encounter. For Real Sociedad, they remain without influential duo Adnan Januzaj and Asier Illarramendi, but Martin Odegaard and Alexander Isak could be restored to the starting XI by Imanol Alguacil.
Players to watch:
Alexander Isak: 19-years old
Martin Ødegaard: 21-years old
Mikel Oyarzabal: 23-years old
The youngsters running the show for Real Sociedad.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 11, 2020
Villarreal: Calleja’s side have received plaudits for their attacking football this season (only Barcelona and Real Madrid have scored more in La Liga than the Yellow Submarine) but their high-scoring exploits in the final third start at the base of their defence and Pau Torres has been the cornerstone of their philosophy this term. The 23-year-old has attracted the covetous eyes from Europe’s heavyweight clubs, such has been his influence at the back from both a defensive point, but also from an attacking perspective. Only Sergio Ramos (1,979), Clement Lenglet (2,019) and Gerard Pique (2,589) have registered more passes than Torres (1,809) for centre-backs this season, while the Villarreal defender has also created the most chances of any centre-back (11).
Real Sociedad: If the Basque club are to take advantage of Villarreal’s absentees in the final third and really give themselves an outside chance of finishing in the top six, they will need their own attacking players in full swing. Mikel Oyarzabal has been involved in three of Real Sociedad’s last four away goals in La Liga (one goal and two assists), so Alguacil will be hoping his talismanic attacker can influence proceedings here in a similar fashion. The 23-year-old has previously been linked with Manchester City, and with good reason, his dribbling ability and end product make him a ferocious customer in Spanish football, and with Leroy Sane now officially a Bayern Munich player, those links may yet resurface this summer.
Scoreline prediction: Villarreal 1-2 Real Sociedad
La Liga 2019/20 recent form:
- Villarreal: WLWWD
- Real Sociedad: LDWLL