Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction
Real Sociedad vs Sevilla - Match Preview
⚽ 4 June 2023 - 16:30 GMT +0
Everything is settled for fourth-place finishers Real Sociedad ahead of the final day, as, despite a 2-1 defeat against Atlético Madrid in the penultimate round, Villarreal’s loss elsewhere guaranteed La Real a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League (UCL). While that may render this clash with Sevilla a rather tepid affair from a competitive viewpoint, there’s bound to be a party atmosphere in San Sebastián as Imanol Alguacil’s men gear up for their first visit to Europe’s top table in a decade.
The defeat in Madrid ended a solid seven-game unbeaten run of La Liga (LL) games for Sociedad, a side who have lost back-to-back league games just once all season. Avoiding the same fate for a second time seems likely here at Reale Arena, with Sociedad unbeaten in their last nine home games (W5, D4) as they go in search of a winning league double against a potentially jetlagged Sevilla.
There is a great incentive for Sevilla to win this game with the club set to finish anywhere between the final European place in seventh, to a bottom-half finish in 12th. Qualifying for Europe isn’t on Sevilla’s minds either after securing a UCL spot with an incredible seventh UEFA Europa League title in midweek, but perhaps the allure of a top-half finish will provide motivation.
The visitors could have wrapped up a stronger league position with games to spare had they avoided a three-game winless run in LL ahead of this (D2, L1). Whilst a rock-solid seven-game unbeaten away run in all competitions suggests that they may well be up to the challenge (W4, D3), the fact they’ve beaten just one of the sides beginning the final round above them in a way LL action points to the contrary (W1, D3, L5).
📋 Players to watch: After hitting the match opener in two of Sociedad’s last three home games, Takefusa Kubo (LL: G15) is one goal shy of matching Takashi Inui’s record as the highest-scoring Japanese player in LL history. Looking to make his mark for Sevilla will be Youssef En-Nesyri, who has scored a career-best six goals against Sociedad in LL and that includes one of his three Spanish top-flight hat-tricks.
⚡ Hot streak: Sociedad manager Alguacil hasn’t lost a single personal LL H2H against Sevilla boss José Luis Mendilibar (W4, D4).
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