Match preview: Real Sociedad vs Atlético

Rojiblancos look to continue their great form away against an unleashed La Real side

The new stadium

Fresh off their first “defeat” of the season, a draw at Camp Nou with which they lost the Supercopa to Barcelona on away goals, an in-form Atlético square up to Real Sociedad this Sunday at Anoeta.

Proceedings in San Sebastián will get underway at 19:00 CET.

For the Rojiblancos, Sunday’s game provides a good opportunity to prove that they can overcome the bitter taste of a lost final, an experience unknown to the current team, who’ve won the three finals they’ve played in the past two years.

“It’s hard to explain that you didn’t win a cup without losing, but the reality is that our opponent came out the champion,” said Diego Simeone of the Supercopa in his press conference on Friday.

Atlético spared no effort in trying to defeat Barcelona, and Cholo acknowledged that his men’s exertions over the past two weeks have left them a bit fatigued, but stressed that they cannot relent against La Real.

“The important thing is to understand that we’re going to play a strong opponent. We cannot relax. It’s important. To understand that we’re going to play a strong opponent and that they won’t allow us to relax.”

Cholo again has all his players available for selection, except for Demichelis, who has been omitted ahead of his transfer to Manchester City. Youngster Giménez will replace him this weekend, while Atlético wrap up the signing of Toby Alderweireld.

Since their return to La Liga in 2010, La Real have a dismal record against Atleti, particularly at their home ground, where they’ve succumbed to defeat three times in three games.

But the Basques came close to restricting that losing streak to two games in last season’s fixture, managing to keep the game goalless until Falcao scored a match-winning free kick in the 90th minute.

And in their last meeting, at the Vicente Calderón in March, the Txuri-urdin claimed their first victory over the Rojiblancos since 2007, ending Thibaut Courtois’ record 820-minute run without conceding a goal at home in the process.

After finishing fourth last season and securing a place in the Champions League qualifiers, La Real have continued to turn heads with dazzling performances and good results.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s clash, coach Jagoba Arrasate seemed confident his team would not lose at home to the Atléticos yet again.

“We want to win to reach seven points and round off the start of the season. Atlético is the most in-form team of La Liga, and it will require a special effort to beat them. They play with great intensity, but I think we’ve proven at home to be a reliable team.”

He explained that in order to beat the Colchoneros, his team will “have to play with the lines close together and not lose the ball, because they’re dangerous on the counter-attack.”

La Real will be without defenders Carlos Martínez and Daniel Estrada, who haven’t recovered from their respective injuries, but star forwards Vela, Griezman, and Seferović are all fit.

Atlético match selection

Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe Luís, Manquillo, Giménez, Juanfran, Miranda, Insúa
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Cebolla, Gabi, Óliver
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Diego Costa, Baptistão

Real Sociedad match selection

Goalkeepers: Bravo, Zubikarai
Defenders: Joseba Zaldua, Ansotegi, Iñigo, Cadamuro, De la Bella
Midfielders: Ros, Markel, Elustondo, Pardo, Zurutuza, Xabi Prieto, Granero
Forwards: Seferović, Vela, Griezmann, Chori Castro

Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez


  • kris

    We have to win this match.. Come on, let’s start our September with the first win of many others.. La Real will be tough,, but they won’t be able to keep up with Atleti’s counter attack.. But,, Sociedad are quite dangerous on the attack as well,, I mean look at that Griezmann, Vela, and Seferovic,, but I don’t think they can get past our back four and even if they do, they won’t be able to get past the best goalkeeper in the league, Courtois! I say,, in this match,, we keep a clean sheet and score maybe one or two goals.. This is a very very important match,, and we can only get out of Anoeta with all three points to be on the top of the La Liga table.. Difficult match,, but we are Atleticos,, we make difficult,, easy… Come on Atleti!!

  • Daneatl

    What about Miranda? Cant see him in the match selection.

  • ali_

    on the official site he is available in the match selection.

  • pantic#10

    Real Sociedad is one of our rivals for a Champions League spot this year.
    Strong team with a very good football. One of the best La Liga team that we faced last year.
    Miranda and Godin must be careful to Seferovic, another talent from Fiorentina, i saw him play with Novara last year and he will be a top player in the next years.
    This will be a tough match; they lost only 2 times at home last year, one against us 😉

  • Derek Maaijen

    We’ve edited the match selection guys, Miranda is in!

  • Daneatl

    Thanks guys.. This will be a really hard game, especially away. Thank god miranda is ready, I was getting worried about Giménez starting.

  • Fatah Kalluti

    Can Alderwereild play?

  • arjit

    If he is not in the match selection, then he cannot play.

  • Dylanowy

    Leo is not even on the bench… 😮

  • pantic#10

    Leo, Super-Man-quillo and Insua not of the match.

  • kris

    We will be able to see probably half an hour of Oliver.. Awesome… When is Manquillo gonna get a match??

  • kris

    Villa’s gotta pass the ball when he is in that kind of position and two other players are infront of him UNMARKED!! Come on, Villa.. Get used to the Atleti way..

  • kris

    I love Diego Costa.. Always does the right thing for us.. He isn’t selfish either.. My god,, look at how our players are shutting out on La Real players.. This organization is just incredible.. This team is so fantastic..

  • kris

    GOOOOOOOOL DE DAVID VILLA!!! AND ANOTHER ASSIST FOR DIEGO “THE BEAST” COSTA!!! IS THIS THE BEST ATTACKING DUO IN LA LIGA??

  • kris

    FELIPE LUIS FOR BALLON D’OR FOR SURE..

  • kris

    GOOOOOOOOL DE KOKE!! WHAT A BULLET!! Come on!! ONE GOAL FOR COSTA, SO THAT HE BOCOMES TOP SCORER!! FORZA ATLETI!!

  • Pantic#10

    You know what? WE ARE STRONG!!!
    Really.

    Amazon gol by Arda-villa-koke

  • kris

    Man,, frikking,, Raul Garcia in the end.. We could have had one more goal.. I understand why he did that,, but he is bad…. Simeone should have put in Oliver instead of Raul Garcia… This was a perfect match for him..

  • dircil

    what a save of Thibaut! superb reflex!!!!!!!!

  • kris

    And,, oh,, Courtois… Fantastic keeper..

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    9 out of 9, something we don’t do often !

    it’s only the 3rd week and yet 7 players have put their names on La Liga score sheet:
    Tiago, Koke, Arda, RG8, Cebolla, Costa & Villa

    That means we are a team, a complete team

    and after signing Alderweireld we signed Guilavogui today,
    two young and talented players, and although the first is a CD and the second is a DM but yet they both scored several goals with Ajax and Sait-Etienne respectively

    now there is still 26 hours until the market closes, if we can get Mata in the next few hours I will change my mind and say that we have a little shot of winning La Liga title

  • Colchonero in Sf

    @kris-

    Why again the Raul Garcia bashing? He came on and immediately got his head onto a free kick fro middle of the field (shot on goal). In the end- he blasted the ball into the stands to ensure the game’s end.

    He is our 4th vice captain for a reason. I think in the end he’ll prove to be one of the longest serving rojiblanco in history as I see him being with us for another 5-6 years then back to Osasuna to finish up his career.

    Not a star- but a reliable option to bring strength and goals as a sub.

  • kris

    Come on man,, be honest.. Would you rather a Raul Garcia playing bad or an aspiring young Oliver with a bright future ahead??

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Colchonero in Sf : Rual Garcia is our second vice captain, after Tiago

    almost every team in the world has a captain and 2 vice captains

    I don’t know from where did you get this “4th vice captain” !!

  • colchonero in sf

    In todays scenario i would take rg experience over untested/inexperienced Oliver in closing the game.

    I think Oliver is the future and the real deal but to put him in up 2-1 not worth risking (my opinion).

  • kris

    I respect your opinion but considering the fact that Oliver can hold the ball really well, I really don’t believe it would have been a bad substitution.. The game against Barcelona is when you shouldn’t have put in Oliver as there was way too much pressure and he had never actually played a big final against such great individual talents.