Real Sociedad +0.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.93 with Bet365 - 2 units (bigger prices available at Bet Victor and SBO, min odds 1.87)
- Real Madrid are still suffering with an injury crisis, as of today Ramos, Carvajal, Marcelo, Militao, Odriozola, Valverde, Benz, Hazard, and Rodrygo won't feature in this match
- We can expect a back 4 that features Nacho at CB and Vazquez at RB and a front 3 of Asensio, Mariano, and Vinicius. From 29 starts between the three attackers they've scored just 5 times in LaLiga.
- Looking at players with 600+ mins this season we can see that Real Madrid are achieving their best team xG with Rodrygo, Valverde, Ramos, and Benzema on the pitch so they should be missed.
- Benzema in particular, he scored 17 goals in all competitions, Real's next best attacker has been Vinicus with 3 goals from 1,551 mins
- When Real last played Real Sociedad the two played out a cautious 0-0 (xG 0.72-0.77) - Real fielded a decent XI that day, they will be worse off here
- Remarkably, Real Madrid are yet to face a team in the top half of the table in 2021 so his will be a step up in competition for them and a real test with these latest squad issues
- La Real's team news is more positive than Madrid's but they'll still be without the suspended Merino at CM, apart from that there are no other automatic starters expected to miss out
- With a Top 4 finish in their sights you would expect the visitors to take a very cautious approach here as they did back in September, the draw wouldn't be the worst result
- In their recent games against Top 6 opponents they've looked solid, they played at a 1-1 with Villarreal while restricting them to 0.23xG
- Against Sevilla they lost 3-2 but restricted them to 1.06xG while generating 2.92 themselves
- Against Atletico they lost 2-0 but restricted them to 0.55xG
- Against Barca they lost 2-1 but kept things competitive (xG 2.58-1.82)
- La Real have lost just 5 times in La Liga this season. It's fair to say the only match they truly "deserved" to lose was the game mentioned above at the Camp Nou. This team (at least in LaLiga) doesn't get dominated by anyone.
- When facing top 6 sides, they are unbeaten in 7 of their last 10 with just 9 goals conceded
- If we filter their record vs top 6 to just away games they are the 3rd best in Spain after Real Madrid and Barcelona. (W4 D2 L4)
- With 1.7 goals per 90 and 1.71 xG per 90 this is the best La Real for as long as my xG records go back (5 seasons)
- Defensively this is the best they've been too, 0.83 goals against per 90 with 0.9xGA.
Final word: We could easily get another 0-0 in this game, expect a cautious approach from both managers.