Roma vs Real Sociedad – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 9th March 2023
As part of our Europa League Predictions, we cast an eye over Real Sociedad’s visit to the Stadio Olimpico. Roma came through a stern test against RB Salzburg to qualify for the last 16, can they take a lead to Spain? Read on with our Roma vs Real Sociedad prediction.
Roma vs Real Sociedad Match Preview
Roma had a mixed time in Group C. They finished second to Betis, though they were the only team to take points from the Seville club with a draw in Spain. This second-place finish sent them to the knockout round, where they faced Salzburg, who had dropped down from the Champions League. After a 1-0 defeat in Austria, Roma overturned the tie at home with a 2-0 victory in the second leg. The goals came courtesy of Belotti and Dybala.
Roma have been in mixed form in Serie A. Indeed, they have taken 10 points from the last 15. A sign of how unpredictable they can be is that they shockingly lost to Cremonese at the end of February yet won at home against Juventus at the weekend thanks to a 25-yard right-foot thunderbolt from Mancini. Roma sit in fourth, well in contention for a Champions League place next season. They have won a respectable eight games from 12 at home in Serie A. Tellingly, they have only conceded five goals in the Olympic stadium in this run.
Real Sociedad did well in Group E. They started their campaign with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford thanks to a somewhat controversial penalty. They then won their next four games. In the final match (the reverse fixture against Man Utd), Sociedad only had to avoid defeat by a two-goal margin to top the group and evade the play-off round. They lost 1-0 to United, which secured their progression straight to this last 16 tie.
La Liga has been good for Sociedad this season. They sit in fourth place and are on course to finish in a Champions League position. However, there has been a decline in results recently. After winning five in a row between gameweeks 14 and 18, Sociedad have only won one of their previous six (also drawing three and losing two). This run has them 14th in the form table, and they must get back on track if they want Champions League football next season. The game at the weekend highlighted their issues with a goalless draw at home to Cadiz. Both teams had chances, but neither could convert.
Roma and Sociedad now meet in the first leg of this round of 16 tie. Roma have been strong at home, but Sociedad have been equally good away, having accumulated 25 points from 36 on their travels in la Liga this season and winning their three away games in the group phase.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Darboe, Solbakken
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Elustondo, Sadiq, Merquelanz
Roma vs Real Sociedad Lineups (Predicted)
Roma (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Ibanez, Smalling, Mancini; Spinazzola, Matic, Cristante, Zalewski; Pellegrini, Dybala; Abraham
Real Sociedad (4-1-3-2): Remiro; Rico, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Gorosabel; Zubimendi; Mendez, Merino, Kubo; Oyarzabal, Fernandez
This game is a challenging one to call. Roma are in the better form of the two teams and have the home advantage. However, Sociedad remain dangerous opponents. With the dribbling, technique, and passing of the likes of Mendez, Kubo, Merino, Oyarzabal, and the talented Zubimendi protecting, Sociedad are a team that likes to keep possession. Indeed, they have had 55 per cent of the ball on average in La Liga. Roma have had 50 per cent in Serie A. However, we expect this to be an even contest in terms of ball possession. Roma coach Jose Mourinho likes playing on the counter-attack and will lure Sociedad onto them sometimes.
Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil will have planned for Roma’s threats. Spinazzola and Zalewski fly forward from wing-back and try to get in behind down the sides. At the same time, Cristante is an energetic presence in midfield. Abraham may start up front, though it could be Belotti instead. However, Roma are particularly dangerous between the opposition defence and midfield lines. Pellegrini and, particularly, Dybala are very creative players who can carve teams open with shooting, dribbling, and passing. Roma will likely use their ability both on the counter and when building the play.
Hence, this will likely be a close contest between two good teams in fourth in strong leagues. These are two well-respected European clubs, and they should trouble each other with either side having their moments in the ascendancy. We were going to predict a 1-0 win to Roma due to their defensive record at home, but we believe Sociedad can score. Roma can also get a couple and take a slender lead to Spain next week.
Roma 2-1 Real Sociedad
Roma vs Real Sociedad Betting Tip – Roma Odds:
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