Real Sociedad vs Valencia Preview and Prediction – May 16, 2024

Real Sociedad is gearing up to face Valencia at the Reale Arena following a recent defeat to Barcelona. This La Liga showdown promises to be a thrilling encounter between two competitive teams.

Match Preview

The hosts start matchday 36 in seventh place, while Valencia is six points behind in eighth.

Real Sociedad, with 54 points from 35 matches, holds a six-point lead over Valencia and Villarreal, putting them close to securing European football.

However, they have not matched last season’s fourth-place finish and now need to fight to move from their current Europa Conference League spot to a Europa League position.

Real Sociedad will begin the matchday in seventh place, just one point behind sixth-placed Real Betis, after losing 2-0 to Barcelona on Monday, leaving them with only one win in their last five matches (D2, L2).

After the loss at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Imanol Alguacil’s team returns to the Reale Arena, where they will try to achieve back-to-back home league wins for the first time in 2024.

They also aim to complete a La Liga double over Valencia for the first time since the 2016-17 season after a narrow win in September’s reverse fixture thanks to a Carlos Fernandez goal.

Winning all three points won’t be easy, as Real Sociedad has not won any of their last three home games against Valencia (D2, L1) since a 3-0 win in February 2020.

Valencia is in a poor run of form at a crucial part of the season, having earned just one point from their last four matches.

Valencia suffered three straight losses to Betis, Barcelona, and Alaves before a frustrating goalless draw with Rayo Vallecano in Saturday’s home game.

With 48 points from 35 matches, Valencia is six points behind Thursday’s opponents, making their European hopes slim.

While they can still close the gap, Valencia can be proud of surpassing last season’s point tally by six points with three matches left against Real Sociedad, Girona, and Celta Vigo.

Valencia has five wins in their 17 away league games this season but can draw confidence from winning two of their last three away matches.

The visitors have also done well in recent trips to the Reale Arena, with three wins, two draws, and one loss in their last six away games against Real Sociedad.

Team News & Updates:

Real Sociedad will be without Martin Merquelanz, Aihen Munoz, Javi Galan, Igor Zubeldia, and Fernandez.

Spain international Martin Zubimendi is also unlikely to play after missing the last two matches due to a muscle injury.

Alguacil might refresh his side with Take Kubo, Kieran Tierney and Ander Barrenetxea all vying for starting spots.

Valencia boss Ruben Baraja cannot call on the injured Jesus Vazquez, Jaume Domenech, Mouctar Diakhaby and Fran Perez.

Andre Almeida, after being on the bench against Rayo, might return to make his 11th league start of the season.

Having recovered from injury, Valencia captain Jose Gaya is set to make his first appearance in nearly two months.

Prediction & Analysis

Despite their recent form, both Real Sociedad and Valencia will be eager to secure a victory to boost their European ambitions.

However, considering their past encounters resulting in draws, we predict a closely contested match with a likely shared scoreline.

  • Real Sociedad 1-1 Valencia
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