Estadio Anoeta, San Sebastien
19 September 2010, 1.30 AM IST.
Real Madrid will travel north for this weekend’s fixture to face newly promoted Real Sociedad. Madrid were impressive in their midweek game against Ajax, dominating their European rivals and finally beating them 2-0 after creating a plethora of chances. They will look to maximize their chances against a Real Sociedad side that will be looking to win their second home game after defeating Villarreal on matchday 1. The two teams have plenty of history between them, with both teams usually matching each other on the pitch. For Real Madrid, it may turn out to be a tricky trip to the Basque region.
Impressive start to the campaign
The Basque team’s hearts were broken when they were relegated in 2007 after finishing 19th in the league. Three years later, they are back to the top division and have started their run to stay in the league, on a very positive note. They sunk the “Yellow Submarine” in their first game and then returned with a well earned point from their trip to Seville, against Almeria after a gritty performance that saw them almost win the game, if not for a last minute equalizer from the hosts. Coach Martin Lasarte has boldly declared that his team will play their natural attacking game against the giants from Madrid. It’ll be interesting to see if that boldness will be displayed on the pitch by his players. The Erreala boys from San Sebastien will be looking to stop an improving Real Madrid side.
Galactic midweek display
Jose Mourinho’s first Champions League game in charge went superbly as Real turned on the heat against a poor Ajax side that failed to create a single decent chance. Conversely, Madrid played neat and crisp-passing football to create plenty of opportunities, and finished a couple of them as Ajax watched their illustrious opponent hound them in what was a very one-sided game. The Whites will be looking to do exactly the same and win their first game on road when they clash against Real Sociedad at the spectacular 32,000 seater Estadio Anoeta stadium in San Sebastien. It won’t be as easy as the midweek game for the Blancos as Sociedad will be highly motivated to beat their rivals, in front of a capacity crowd that would surely cheer and wave their team on to perform beyond their potential to stop their celebrated rivals.
Probable starting line-ups
Real Sociedad: Bravo; Martinez-Gonzalez-Ansotegi-De La Bella; Aramburu-Rivas; Prieto-Zurutuza-Sutil; Tamudo
Real Madrid: The team that played against Ajax functioned very well as a unit and Mourinho will be giving the same team more minutes – to get to know each other’s moves and positions more.
Casillas, as usually will start in goal. Ramos is back after shaking off a niggle that saw him being ruled out for the midweek game against Ajax. Pepe and Carvalho will guard Casillas’s goal as Marcelo will go forward to help the attackers. Alonso and Khedira will control the midfield and will try to win back the possession in midfield. Ronaldo and Di Maria will switch positions and give width to the team and will be supported by Ramos and Marcelo. Ozil will play his usual free role trying to set up Ronaldo, Di Maria and Higuain.
Expect this starting line-up for tomorrow’s game at the Anoeta stadium.
Probable Lineup: Casillas; Ramos-Pepe-Carvalho-Marcelo; Alonso-Khedira; Ronaldo-Ozil-Di Maria; Higuain
TheHardTackle’s Form Guide:
Real Sociedad – DWLWW
Real Madrid – WWLWW
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
After failing to score so far this season, Ronaldo will be hungry to give his scoring boots some workout in tomorrow’s match. It’s going to be a tough game in San Sebastien for Real Madrid and their star man will be expected to blaze against an organized and dangerous Real Sociedad side. One wouldn’t be wrong in expecting Ronaldo to score a couple of goals.
Real Sociedad 1-3 Real Madrid
Although the hosts have made a bright start to the campaign, it’s going to take a mammoth effort from them stop the Merengue brigade from scoring. Earlier this week, Jose Mourinho said that some poor team will have to pay for all the chances Real missed against Ajax. Sociedad might not be that team, but if they want to avoid that nightmare, they’ll have to be extremely disciplined if they are to stop the Madridstas and then, they should themselves capitalize on whatever chances they get. One can expect another strong performance from Real Madrid and an intimidating reception from the Basques at Estadio Anoeta.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST