Match Preview – Real Sociedad v Sevilla FC – Week 17

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Out of form Real Sociedad welcome a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Sevilla to San Sebastian for what should be an impossible to call, yet entertaining midweek encounter.

With all the concern over the health of the manager, not to mention the cloud over a certain midfielder’s future, the team could be forgiven for being a little bit off the boil of late. Even though Berizzo is thankfully back in the dugout (hopeful they caught the cancer early enough), and the N’Zonzi debacle seems to be nearing its conclusion (more on that below), the roller coaster ride that comes with being a Sevillista shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. Amazingly though, this is the first year since 2013 that will end without a major trophy to show for it.

In the meantime, priceless points are up for grabs before the year is completely out, as falling further behind the leading pack would be unthinkable heading into 2018. Although, as the table stands, Real Madrid are in 4th with a game in hand, Valencia still look the most vulnerable of the current top sides. They’re currently 3rd, but despite all the media hype and talk of pushing for the league title after their blistering start, they are still only a measly five points ahead of us, which isn’t that bad considering how poorly the last two games have went. Worst case scenario heading into 2018 is we are chasing Valencia by 8 points, best case is the gap is down to just 2 points.

Interestingly enough, Valencia and Villarreal, who are probably the only other team who will give us the hardest challenge to getting into that top 4, go head-to-head this Saturday. It will be an interesting game to follow. A loss for Villareal and they would put a 13 point gap between them and Valencia, and even before the half way point of the season, that might be too much to claw back.

Focussing on us though, an embarrassing thrashing from Real Madrid and a goalless draw at home to Levante is hardly ideal preparation for tonight’s game. The only positive is La Real also go into the game on the back of 4 straight defeats and draw (a credible 0-0 against t local rivals Bilbao). They’ll no doubt be looking to put an end to that miserable run before the mini winter break and will probably see a wounded, faltering, not to mention generally poor on the road, Sevilla side as ideal prey. Our form in recent years there has been really poor, only one win since 2006, albeit only a year ago - a memorable 4-0 victory, capped with a Ben Yedder hat trick! Even a quarter of that score line would be welcome.

As a side note, Mexican international striker Carlos Vela will likely play his last game for them before heading off to the MLS. I always enjoyed watching him play, scored some memorable goals, but hopefully we won’t be responsible for giving him happy farewell match in front of the home fans.

So here we are - the final Liga game of 2017, a year full of ups and downs, managerial changes and illness, treacherous players (I’m looking at you Vitolo), our first empty trophy cabinet since 2013. And, of course, a year that will always be remembered as the year we parted company with club legend, and key reason for our glorious last decade, Monchi.

Squad list for Real Sociedad:

GKs: Rico, Soria

DEFs: Corchia, Carole, Kjaer, Escudero

MIDs: MKD, Banega, Correa, Pizarro, Navas, Sarabia, Ganso, Geis, Borja

FWDs: Ben Yedder, Muriel, Nolito, Mudo

N’Zonzi update:

Stephen N’Zonzi looks to be on his way back to the English Premier League in the January window. He is not in the squad for tonight, and is training away from the first team. Apparently it stems from a bust up with Berizzo, and subsequent walk out of the RSP, after being subbed off against Liverpool in the Champions League. There is also talk that he doesn’t like sharing the field with Pizarro.

Regardless of the reasons, it will still be sad to see him leave the club, as after a slow start, he became an integral part of our midfield and the way we played. The only bonus being he would command a transfer fee that could be re-invested. I would imagine some transfer targets have already been lined up in this case. If his attitude problem is the reason for his departure, it will be a sadly ignominious end to what could have been a fondly remembered couple of years for player and club.






Great end of the year match preview.

It would be ideal to end the year with a win vs. Sociedad, but it will be extremely difficult, both considering that Sociedad are a tough team to beat and we suck when playing away.

However, even a draw would be nice at this point.

I’d go with:


Corchia - Geis - Kjaer - Escudero
Pizarro - Banega
Sarabia Nolito

nice post chris. will be interesting to see how much we are actually able to get back for nzonzi considering his situation at the club. doesn’t seem we’d have a lot of leverage.

win against RS would be great but not holding my breath. cant make much sense of this team.

also, chris i couldnt even tell you wrote the post on the front page…

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Bad news: Jesús Navas won’t be available for the match

That is a blow concerning Navas, his pace on the counter will be missed.

At this stage, and with the way the past weeks have gone, coming away with at least a point doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea.

Hopefully Valencia and Villareal ends as a draw too

Rene, you’re not the only one who can’t make sense of this team. I know one thing though, I’ve had enough of this manager already. And Castro is not without balls when it comes to money, he’ll be looking at the two months we have before facing Man United in which time he could change the coaching staff and a good chunk of the players.

I’ve given up thinking we’re going to win games because here we have a team without identity, no heart, no soul, no brain, no play, no captain, no tactics. And to cap it all, dressing room bust ups.

Holy Moses, Berizzo should read that last paragraph to the players as they walk onto the pitch.


Huge match! Need a win before the break! Then we can look to boost the squad in January! Vamos!

Sergio Rico; Corchia, Geis, Kjaer, Escudero; Pizarro, Banega; Sarabia, Ganso, Krohn-Dehli; y Ben Yedder

Berizzo leaves Nolito and Correa on the bench and decides to shift play through the middle. Good idea, it’s a big pitch with plenty of room for wingers, at least it’s a plan.

I hear you Tim regarding Berizzo. It has not been the most inspiring season, not compared to the 100mph stuff we have become accustomed to under Emery and Sampaoli.

In his defence, we have no idea how long he has been suffering with his health, and he has masterminded some good wins and/or come backs on the road. Liverpool and Villareal spring to mind.

If we finish outside of Champions League qualification, or fail to win the Copa del Rey then it might be time to look elsewhere, but I am willing to give him a chance for now.

Johnathan actually posted. I updated it to reflect such.

Getafe beating bottom of the table Las Palmas 2-0 with 87 mins gone

Las Palmas have been sooo poor this season, and they have some great players. That is what they get for colluding with Atletico in the Vitolo saga I guess :slight_smile:

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Anyone else having issues getting Bein Sports to work on a Stream?

streams posted here are usually pretty reliable:

I have the game in HD on my TV tonight, a rare treat

I don’t suppose many saw the last las palmas game so I’ll describe it. They went 0-2 down against Español in the 80th minute. Fought back to 2-2 by 90 minutes, the ref awarded 4 minutes of extra time. In minute 93 and 40 seconds, penalty to las palmas but jonathon viera failed from the spot, what a game.

playing quite brightly in the opening 5 minutes

Geis steps out to leave Vela offside but too late, Corchia has to rescue the situation. Geis is great but not a natural defender.

agreed about Geis, but Vela is on the bench, so that was some step out to leave him offside :smiley:

awful defending !

1-0 to Real Sociedad, it has been coming

Another goal on a corner. We suck at defending set pieces.

Another saveable header creeps past Sergio Rico, Sevilla in crisis and looking like the starting 11 are declaring independence in search of a new manager