Sat 27 May 2023 8:46 am - Jerusalem Time
Spain Championship: Sociedad to settle its ticket to the Champions League for the first time in a decade
Real Sociedad hopes to settle its ticket to the Champions League competition next season, after a decade, when it visits Atletico Madrid on Sunday at the summit of the thirty-seventh and penultimate stage of the Spanish Football League.
The Basque team, led by its coach Emmanuel Alguasil, hit hard in the last seven stages and gained 17 points out of 21 possible, including two resounding victories over the poles of Spanish football, its guest Real Madrid 2-0 and its host Barcelona, champion 2-1.
Real Sociedad occupies fourth place with 68 points, five points ahead of Villarreal, its only competitor for the fourth and last ticket to qualify for the prestigious continental competition, which is a guest on the 12th Rayo Vallecano.
The Basque club needs only two points in its last two matches against Atletico and Seville, but it is determined to continue its series of positive results by overcoming the third Atletico Madrid, which gave up second place in favor of its neighbor and arch-rival Real Madrid, by falling into a tie trap in front of its host Espanyol 3-3 after it was ahead by three. clean.
Real Sociedad is well aware that his victory will give him the last card to the continental competition, regardless of the outcome of the match. 2 at Villarreal.
Real Sociedad Al-Nafy finished the season in third place for the first time since 2003.
Sociedad is five points behind Atletico Madrid, and in the event of its victory over it, it also excels in both confrontations (a 1-1 draw in the fourth stage).
Real Suedad is playing the match in the absence of its veteran playmaker, David Silva, due to a calf injury that kept him out of the last two league matches.
The 37-year-old playmaker, who signed a new contract until 2024, has been a mainstay of Real Sociedad's stellar season and their highly anticipated return to the top level of European football for the first time since 2013.
Real Sociedad is counting on another veteran, midfielder Asier Yarramendi, who will leave his team at the end of the season at the end of his contract.
The 33-year-old wrote an emotional message this week detailing his farewell and taking pictures with his teammates and the King's Cup crowned champion in 2021.
That trophy, the team's first major trophy since winning it also in 1987, was a sign of the strong comeback of the Basque team.
Real Sociedad has important weapons in its ranks, the most prominent of which remains defensive midfielder Martin Subimendi, who is nominated to move to Barcelona to replace the departure of its captain Sergio Busquets, along with Japanese talent Takefusa Kubo, who scored the winning goal against Almeria (1-0) on Tuesday.
"Here, if you relax, the next day you will be on the bench. On that day, the new players who came showed that they have the level to beat Barcelona," said the former Real Madrid player, after defeating the Catalan club in his own home for the first time since 1991.
Barcelona, crowned with the title, seeks to restore balance when it hosts Real Mallorca on Sunday on Spotify Camp Nou.
Barcelona disappointed after winning the title when it beat its neighbor and host Espanyol 4-2 in the middle of this month, suffering two consecutive defeats against its guest Real Sociedad 1-2 and its host Valladolid 1-3.
And after conceding only 11 goals in 33 matches, the Catalan club scored seven goals in its last three matches.
Barcelona hopes that Real Mallorca will host it, its last this season, at its “Spotify Camp Nou” stadium, to celebrate in front of its fans the farewell of its captains, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, who decided to leave at the end of the season.
It is noteworthy that the Barcelona stadium will be closed until November 2024 due to its restoration and expansion works, as it will play its home matches at the Luis Companes Olympic Stadium.
The stage opens on Saturday with an early summit, Seville X, with its guest, Real Madrid II.
The match is of great importance to the two teams, as it is a rehearsal for Sevilla before hosting the Italian capital team, while the Royal Club hopes to continue its awakening and secure second place before hosting Athletic Bilbao in the final stage.
Real Madrid succeeded in regaining second place in the last stage when it defeated its guest and neighbor Rayo Vallecano 2-1, taking advantage of the stumbling of its neighbor Atletico against Espanyol 3-3.
Away from the first four places and the last qualifying card to the Champions League, the stage is witnessing decisive matches to avoid catching up with Elche to the second degree.
Seven teams will compete for survival: Valencia and Celta Vigo (40 points each), Almeria (39), Cadiz, Getafe and Valladolid (38 each) and Espanyol (35).
The stage witnesses three heated confrontations between clubs threatened with relegation, so Valencia XIII plays with Espanyol XIX penultimate, Cadiz XVI with Celta Vigo XIV, and Almeria XV with Valladolid XVIII.
Getafe XVII hopes to take advantage of the ground workers and the public to overcome the hurdle of Osasuna VII and the runner-up of the cup competition.
In two marginal matches, Athletic Bilbao VIII plays with the last Elche, and Girona Ninth plays with Real Betis VI.
Sunday matches will be held at the same time, in accordance with the principle of equal opportunities between teams.