La Liga Betting: Back super Sociedad to beat Real Madrid



It was finally confirmed this week, but we have all known for some time. He departs this summer having created a whirlwind at his club, and looks destined to go where everyone anticipated. Yes, that's right: Philippe Montanier is leaving Real Sociedad. The manager has taken the Basque side on an incredible run, losing just twice since November. They sit in fourth position, level on points with Valencia and with the better head-to-head record.

Will the team suffer from Montanier's move back to France? It shouldn't be forgotten that after a poor start to the season, the board were considering replacing the coach. Providing the new coach's style is suitable, and they can keep hold of key players, there's no reason why they can't continue in the same vein. Theirs is an incredibly talented young side.

Over in the capital, another manager is also preparing to pack his suitcase. José Mourinho pulled no punches as he described the season as "the worst of my career." Despite his fairly honest appraisal he will surely be angered by comments made by Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez, who explained that the "pressure" is more intense at Madrid than any other club and suggested that Mourinho couldn't handle it. There will surely be a response to that dig in the coming days, weeks or even months. Overall, the separation is the best outcome for all parties: the manager, the club, the players and even the Spanish media.

Team news

La Real's leading scorer, Carlos Vela, is suspended, so Gonzalo Castro is expected to cover. Mikel González is back at the heart of defence, though Asier Illarramendi is a doubt.

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off on the Copa del Rey final, but the suspension only applies to domestic cup competitions, so the winger is available here. It's difficult to tell whether Mourinho will choose his strongest team or select a variety of youth players to play with press once more.

Form

Sociedad have stumbled slightly of late, but their results have improved in the bigger matches this season. Last weekend's 2-1 win at Sevilla kept them on track for Champions League qualification.

There was some silverware handed out to Madrid last week, but unfortunately for Real it went to rivals Atlético, who won the Copa Del Rey trophy at the Bernabéu. It was a fantastic match, even if it felt as if Mourinho had tossed a hand grenade onto the pitch then walked off.

Recent head-to-head

Real Madrid are one of two teams to have beaten La Real since their amazing run began, sneaking a 4-3 when the two sides met earlier in the campaign. Xabi Prieto scored a hat-trick that day, and is 15.00 to get at least a double here.

Goalscorer betting

Striker Imanol Agirrexte has sprung into life in recent weeks: he has six goals in as many appearances and is 6.25 to deliver the first blow. Antoine Griezmann and Xabi Prieto are both 3.50 to score at any time. Luka Modrić can be found at 5.00, whilst Xabi Alonso is 8.00 to net against his former club.

Verdict

This is a huge game for Real Sociedad. Winning this match would prove this team is ready to tackle Europe's best sides next season, but defeat could give the initiative to Valencia. Failure is not an option. The home win is at 2.55.

Bonus bet

Sociedad are the team that needs to force the issue, whilst Madrid supporters will expect a reaction after last week's disappointment. It could be a fast start to the match. Over 2.5 goals in the first half is a rewarding 5.25.

Score prediction: Real Sociedad 3-2 Real Madrid (19.00)