AS Monaco moves to Real Sociedad’s lawn this Thursday in the Europa League (6:45 p.m.). Led by their striker, Mikel Oyarzabal, the Basques will certainly be the toughest opponents of the Monegasques in this group B.
Direction San Sebastian, in the Spanish Basque Country, for Niko Kovac’s men. The Principality’s players will face Real Sociedad there for the second day of the Europa League, after a painful first victory against the Austrians of Sturm Graz (1-0). This Thursday, it is quite simply the dolphins of Real Madrid in La Liga which will stand on the road of a Monegasque formation which finds a little color after a failed start to the season. Two consecutive victories against Saint-Etienne and Clermont which gave a little confidence to the troops of the Croatian coach. It will undoubtedly be necessary to face this attractive Basque team.
5 wins in 7 La Liga games
Since the start of the 2021-2022 financial year, Real Sociedad have lost only one game. It was on the lawn of Camp Nou against Barça on the first day of La Liga (4-2). Apart from an addict against Sevilla at home (0-0), Imanol Alguacil’s men filled up in the league, all while offering attractive football. Against Granada (3-2 victory), the Basques tried their luck 20 times for 11 shots on target. Symbol of the attacking spirit of this team, already seen last season when Real Sociedad posted the 5e best attack in La Liga.
Through intense pressing to recover the ball as high as possible on the field, the Basques are constantly looking for verticality in the game in order to stifle their opponents. “I like the way Real Sociedad plays. I see some similarities with our style, especially in the game without the ball. It will be necessary to be attentive given the strength that emerges from this teamASM coach Niko Kovac said at a press conference on Wednesday. The Spaniards must also impose on the Monegasques a significant physical challenge, which is more in a European Cup match where the intensity is increased tenfold.
Mikel Oyarzabal: the handyman
In addition to the collective strength that emerges from this Basque formation, one man must particularly alert the vigilance of the ASM: Mikel Oyarzabal. At 24, the native striker of Eibar, just a few kilometers from San Sebastian, is the real captain of this team and has gradually established himself as a reference on the other side of the Pyrenees. “He’s able to change the court of a match on his own so hopefully we can muzzle him tomorrow.”Said Niko Kovac.
After participating in Euro 2021, the one who hardly rested and then started this exercise with a bang with 5 but registered in 7 La Liga games. The Monegasque rearguard is warned.
A busy infirmary
Despite its good arrangements at the start of the season, Real Sociedad must deal with a host of injuries, including the talented Swedish, Alexander Isak but also the Norwegian rookie Alexander Sorloth and veteran David Silva. However, this did not prevent the Basques from winning this weekend against Elche (1-0) after having copied his opponent (18 shots to 5). In Granada, Imanol Alguac’s men also have to deal with many absent but still splashed the lawn with their offensive talent thanks to the offensive playing principles of their coach. “We want supporters to be proud of their team“, He said after the meeting against Elche.
However, despite the zero obtained on the lawn of PSV Eindhoven (2-2) two weeks ago, Real Sociedad appeared more borrowed and was awarded by their Dutch opponent who could have won. Sign that this team is obviously not infallible and that the workforce of the ASM is qualitative enough to put it in difficulty. Nevertheless, the renewed confidence of Monegasques still seems too fragile to allow themselves any excess of optimism.
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