La Liga will start the new year with the 17th day. One of the most exciting games will be between Real Sociedad and Sevilla, which will be kicked off at 8:45 pm on the Saturday at Estadio Anoeta (San Sebastian). Both teams are currently to be found in the top table segment where they want to stay. With a win, Sevilla could even move past big FC Barcelona, who started a terribly weak week in the Copa del Rey during the week and will be on the fourth place in Villarreal on Sunday. Real Sociedad will also be lucky with a victory to strengthen the good placement and perhaps make a leap up in the table.
After Real Sociedad finished the last season in the upper midfield, one plays in this around the international places. The Eusebio Sacristán team is currently in fifth place to qualify for the Europa League. Of the last five games, San Sebastian won a total of three. Only in the game against Deportivo La Coruña you had to leave fears and lost very clearly with 1: 5. Previously, FC Barcelona was a guest in San Sebastian. In terms of statistics, the Sacristan team was even the better team (6: 2 shots), but in the end it was “only” to reach a 1: 1 draw. The last two games against FC Valencia (3: 2) and FC Granada (2-0) made Real Sociedad successful again. The Eusebio Sacristán team is also represented in the Copa del Rey. To the end of the year, a 1: 1 draw against Real Valladolid was enough to win the first leg one week earlier with a 3-1 win. This meant that Real Sociedad were already able to prove themselves during the week in the round of the Copa del Rey. The start to the new year can be considered a successful one, as they were able to convince Villarreal 3: 1. With one goal, Willian José Da Silva (top scorer with 1 goals and 1 assist) and Carlos Vela (5 goals and 2 assits) have already led their team to the winner’s road at half-time. In the meantime, Mikel Oyarzabal (first goal) scored the goal in the meantime 3-0. In the upcoming match, coach Eusebio Sacristán will be without Carlos Martinez and Markel Bergara. Whether defenseman Raul Navas, who is currently still struggling with a thigh injury, until the whistle is again fit, remains to be seen.
The start in 2017 was anything but edifying for Sevilla. In the duel with the reigning Champions League winner Real Madrid, the reigning Europa League winner in the Copa del Rey had a bitter defeat. Already at half-time, Jorge Sampaoli’s side were almost 3-0, and although the runners-in-the-back were without their stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos. Since Madrid in half two was mainly concerned to manage the lead, it remained then also at the half-time stand. The year 2016 ended much better. Of the last five league games Sevilla won four. The Sampaoli team lost only 1: 2 with FC Granada. The last two matches against Celta Vigo (3-0) and FC Málaga (4: 1) Sevilla could then decide again with confidence. Altogether the Andalusians are on a good third place. The gap to FC Barcelona is only one point. With a victory against Real Sociedad, the shadow place behind the currently undisputed table leader from Madrid would be theoretically. In the upcoming game, the Copa del Rey has to be forgotten, to concentrate on the league day and to build on the good performances of the past year. Coach Jorge Sampaoli can almost get the full advantage. Only the injured Carlos Fernandez and the yellow and red locked Adil Rami are not available.
If you look for the bets, Real Sociedad with a 2,3-odds has a slight advantage over the Sevilla with a 3,2er quota, which is probably due to the home advantage. In my opinion, both teams are on equal terms, which is also evident in the table places (5th vs. 3rd place). Moreover, both teams have recently proved a good form. The Sacristán team has a 3-1-1 record and the Sampaoli team has a 4-0-1 record. So I can not see a clear favorite in this game.