Jul 13, 2020 at 6.30pm UK
Real SociedadReal Sociedad
Cazorla (85')
Ontiveros (35'), Trigueros (36')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Jose (61'), Llorente (75')
Merino (2'), Le Normand (70')

Preview: Villarreal vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Villarreal vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:406079: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Monday's La Liga clash between Villarreal and Real Sociedad, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two teams battling for a European finish in Spain's top flight will lock horns on Monday night as Villarreal welcome Real Sociedad to Estadio de la Ceramica.

Villarreal are currently fifth in La Liga on 57 points, six points clear of seventh-placed Sociedad, who have struggled for results since returning to action last month.

Match preview

Villarreal have been in excellent form since returning to action on June 13, winning six of their eight matches, drawing once and suffering one defeat, to rise up the table.

The Yellow Submarine actually lost three straight matches immediately before the lockdown period, but the break certainly helped them, and they are now very much in charge of fifth spot at this stage.

Javi Calleja's side are four points clear of sixth-placed Getafe in the table, although they sit six points behind fourth-placed Sevilla, meaning that the Champions League spots are likely beyond them.

Claiming fifth would be a success for Villarreal, particularly considering that they finished 14th last term.

El Submarino Amarillo have been better on their travels this season, though, and only have the 11th-best home record in Spain's top flight during the 2019-20 campaign, winning just eight of their 17 games.

Sociedad, though, have really struggled for form since returning to action last month, winning just one of their eight matches, suffering five defeats in the process.

The Basque club were in the argument for a top-four finish in March, but they are now battling to finish in the top six, with sixth-placed Getafe two points ahead of them.

Sociedad have actually finished 12th and ninth in their last two seasons at this level, meaning that sixth or seventh would be considered a success despite their troubles over the last few weeks.

Head coach Imanol Alguacil will know the importance of Monday's contest, but La Real suffered a 3-2 loss at home to Granada on Friday night and have not won on the road since March.

The Basque side have dropped points in 11 of their 17 away league games this season, meanwhile, and it is a big ask for them to pick up all three points against an in-form Villarreal.

Villarreal La Liga form: WDWWLW

Sociedad La Liga form: LLLWDL

Team News

Villarreal will be without the services of Gerard Moreno and Vicente Iborra through suspension, while Paco Alcacer, Carlos Bacca and Ramiro Funes Mori are all expected to miss out through injury.

Calleja is therefore seriously short of options in the final third, meaning that Samuel Chukwueze could get the nod through the middle, with Moi Gomez and Manu Trigueros coming into the starting XI.

Santi Cazorla and Javi Ontiveros are also expected to feature in attacking positions, while there could be a change at right-back with Mario Gaspar coming into the side.

As for Sociedad, a lengthy injury list includes Joseba Zaldua, Jon Bautista, Adnan Januzaj, Asier Illarramendi and Luca Sangalli.

Alguacil is expected to make changes from the side that started against Granada, with Martin Odegaard, Nacho Monreal and Alexander Isak all in the running to return.

Willian Jose was chosen through the middle last time out, but Isak has scored twice in his last two appearances for the Basque outfit and could get the nod in attack.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Moreno; Anguissa, Trigueros; Gomez, Cazorla, Ontiveros; Chukwueze

Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Moya; Elustondo, Llorente, Le Normand, Monreal; Merino, Zubimendi; Oyarzabal, Odegaard, Portu; Isak

We say: Villarreal 1-1 Real Sociedad

At full strength, we would fancy Villarreal to pick up all three points, but the Yellow Submarine will be missing some key players for this match. A draw would not be the worst result for the hosts as they look to consolidate in fifth, and we are struggling to separate the two sides on this occasion.

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