Tue, Nov 5th 2013
With two home wins and an away draw from our opening three Champion League matches, Moyes has so far followed the tried and tested route to the Champions League knockout stages.
A win tonight will secure qualification whilst a draw will keep us on track but our remaining two fixtures look more difficult than this one so given that Real Sociedad have yet to register a single point from their opening three matches, I’d like to think that we have it in us to keep that record going.
For Real Sociedad, there is probably some mathematical chance of qualification but it will require three wins in their last three games and probably some other results to go in their favour. In reality, their chance of progress is probably gone and it is now about pride and at least leaving the competition with dignity intact and, possibly, a place in the Europa League to play for.
I said when we played them a couple of weeks ago that their form was very similar to our own and so it has proved since our first match as, like us, they have gone on a little run of decent results and have notched up two wins and a draw in their last three games (including a 5-0 thumping of Osasuna over the weekend) although it has to be said that all three opponents were towards the bottom of the league.
Real Sociedad themselves now sit in seventh place in La Liga which looks a little better than it did a couple of weeks ago when they were down in the bottom half.
Our first match against Sociedad was largely frustrating. After getting off to a dream start thanks to an own goal with the match barely begun, we couldn’t capitalise and ended up holding out for a 1-0 victory.
Given that Sociedad’s form does seem to have improved of late, it will be interesting to see how Moyes approaches this one. Will he go all out for the win and secure qualification or will he go with the intention of keeping Sociedad out to secure a point with the possibility of a goal on the break for the win but with the overall intention of avoiding defeat?
I’d obviously love to see us wrap this up tonight. With two games still to play, there are other opportunities to get the points we need but the benefits of being able to rest and rotate players in those matches will be significant whilst the Premier League is turning out to be so tight this season.
Overall, I can see something similar to our first game but I think we might just see a couple more goals here.
The Red Devil's Match Prediction
The bet is 2 points OVER 2.5 goals @ 2.05 with BetVictor
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