Real Sociedad vs Roma – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 16th March 2023
As part of our Europa League Predictions, we take a look at the second leg round of 16 tie between Real Sociedad and Roma. Roma take a 2-0 leg to Spain and won comfortably in Rome – can Sociedad erase the deficit? Read on with our Roma vs Real Sociedad prediction.
Real Sociedad vs Roma Match Preview
Sociedad have been good in La Liga this season. Indeed, they sit In the fourth position with 45 points from 25 matches. They will be hopeful of qualifying for the Champions League. However, as we noted in last week’s preview, there has been a recent decline in results, which could affect their ability to qualify for Europe’s premier competition next season. Sociedad have only won one of their last seven league games (drawing four and losing two) and scored only five goals in this run, conceding six.
At the weekend, Sociedad drew away to Mallorca. They took an early lead through Fernandez, but the hosts equalised in the second half. This result makes it no wins in the last four for Sociedad. They have been struggling recently, but they hope the return of creative playmaker David Silva (a Spanish football legend) will help them open teams up more. They’ve only lost four times at home; coach Imanol Alguacil can use that as a positive.
Roma are seventh in the Serie A form table over the last six games. They have won three and lost two of these. Their impressive win at home to Juventus was followed up by a topsy-turvy 4-3 loss away to Sassuolo. They sit fifth in Serie A, with 47 points from 26 games. Coach Jose Mourinho knows his team must keep going as they have a real chance of qualifying for the Champions League through Serie A (or by winning the Europa League).
Roma have not won away from home in their last four in all competitions, but they have only been beaten five times on their travels this season, so they hope to get the result they need to progress in this second leg. They have several injury doubts to important squad members but have a big enough pool to cope.
The first leg was dominated by Roma, as El-Shaarawy and Kumbulla’s goals gave the Italian side a precious victory. The result was not fortunate – while Sociedad had more possession (56 per cent), goal attempts were relatively even, and Roma had xG of 2.14 to 0.76. Considering the possible flaws of xG stats, this shows that Roma were good value for the win. They now have a lead to protect.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Elustondo, Sadiq, Merquelanz
Might Not Play: Llorente, Belotti, Pellegrini
Will Not Play: Darboe, Solbakken
Real Sociedad vs Roma Lineups (Predicted)
Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Remiro; Rico, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Gorosabel; Zubimendi, Merino; Mendez, Silva, Kubo; Sorloth
Roma (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Ibanez, Smalling, Mancini; Spinazzola, Matic, Cristante, Zalewski; El-Shaarawy, Dybala; Abraham
The dynamic of this tie suits Roma. With a two-goal lead, they can travel to San Sebastian, sit deeper, play a patient game, and choose when to hit Sociedad on the counter. The other side of the coin is how the hosts approach the match. With a two-goal deficit to combat, will they attack from the start and try to score early (thus also exposing themselves to conceding early), or will they be balanced and realise it is a 90-minute game and take it in phases?
Sociedad are generally a possession team that make passes, so in their 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-3-2 system, they will look to Zubimedi and Merino to control the game from midfield. The returning Silva will do what he does best (even at his advanced age) and tries to make the play between the lines and connect midfield and attack. Sociedad have several attacking options, with Kubo, Silva, Oyarzabal, Fernandez, Sorloth and the exciting Mendez (who has created most chances in the Europa League this season) to draw on. They will use a mixture of pace and creativity to try to halve the deficit. If they can do this, Roma might get angsty.
Roma, as stated, will likely play on the counter. However, they cannot be too negative. If they are, it invites Sociedad to come onto them, and with the technical players the Spaniards have, they can find spaces where they can hurt Roma. Roma’s best bets are the attacking play down the sides of Spinazzola and Zalewski and the trickery between the lines of the attacking midfielders, likely El- Shaarawy and Dybala. Dybala is a very inventive player who will look to score himself and create chances for the admittedly out-of-form Abraham. Pellegrini is generally a starter but is touch and go due to a recent concussion.
Sociedad can win this game, but emerging with the two-goal victory they require just to take this tie to extra time is difficult. We back them to score a couple, but we believe Roma can get one for themselves and reach the quarter-finals.
Real Sociedad 2-1 Roma
Roma vs Real Sociedad Betting Tip – Roma Odds:
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