5 January 2020
Real Sociedad and Villarreal go head-to-head at the Reale Seguros Stadium in an intriguing La Liga (LL) encounter in the opening set of games that will be played in the new calendar year.
Unbeaten in their last four LL outings (W2, D2), the hosts will be looking to extend their winning run in top-flight H2Hs with Villarreal to three straight games and potentially break into the top-four again. But, their indifferent home form in the recent period (W1, D2, L1) might be setting them back here, as well as the fact that they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six LL home fixtures. Nonetheless, the Reale Seguros Stadium has been a venue of entertainment recently, with five of Sociedad’s six previous league games held here producing over 2.5 goals and witnessing both teams score. Free-scoring Sociedad have found the net in all eight of their LL home games so far this season, netting 2+ match goals on five of those occasions. What’s more, Imanol Alguacil’s men have opened the scoring in six of those fixtures, although failing to capitalize on the opener three times across such matches (D2, L1).
On the other hand, the visitors have won both of their previous LL games via a single-goal margin to move to 10th in the table. Interestingly, none of Villarreal’s nine LL away fixtures has ended in a draw (W3, L6), with six of those results (win/loss) coming via the identical 2-1 scoreline (W1, L5). The Yellow Submarine, however, boast a solid top-flight away record against Real Sociedad over the past few years, as they’ve won four of their last six LL trips to the Basque country (W4, D1, L1). All of their previous five such showdowns have seen only one side hit the net, with four of them featuring under 2.5 goals. The clean-sheet theme could prove vital in Villarreal’s efforts to continue building up momentum, as two of their three LL away triumphs this season saw them shut their rivals out.
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