Real Sociedad, a team that has not played in the Champions League for a decade, could qualify for Europe’s premier competition by obtaining just two points from their remaining two La Liga games. The Basque squad, currently ranked fourth, will visit Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid on Sunday, hoping to secure their spot before facing a potentially nerve-racking final match of the season. Villarreal, who are ranked fifth, sit five points behind them and must win their last two matches to have any chance of reaching the Champions League.
Atletico, who threw away a three-goal lead against Espanyol on Wednesday, now trail Real Madrid, their rivals, who are in second place, by just one point. David Silva, Real Sociedad’s playmaker, will be unavailable for their final two league games due to a calf injury he sustained this week, despite signing a new contract until 2024. Silva has played a key role in the team’s fine season and prospective return to the top level of European football for the first time since 2013.
Real Sociedad possesses the players to get them over the line against Atletico and Europa League finalists, Sevilla, even without Silva. Their defensive midfielder, Martin Zubimendi, is sought after by Barcelona as a potential Sergio Busquets replacement, and he excelled in their win at Camp Nou last weekend, their first since 1991 in La Liga. Real Sociedad could accomplish their objective during their matchup against Atletico, a team they have not played against in the Champions League in almost a decade.
Joselu, Espanyol’s main goal threat, netted in the midweek comeback against Atletico. His team, who is fighting for survival at the bottom of the table, will need him to perform when they visit Valencia on Sunday. Meanwhile, Elche, who were recently relegated, have remained undefeated in their last three games. Additionally, after letting in only 11 goals in their first 33 games, Barcelona has shipped seven in their last three.
Real Sociedad is on the rise again, and it could be due to Alguacil’s recent leadership. As a player for La Real in the 1990s, the coach took over in 2018 and molded a skilled, fun side that continually works hard. Even players like Asier Illarramendi, whose contract is expiring in June, wrote an emotional goodbye note to the team that they will always remember. Real Sociedad is aiming to finish in their highest spot since 2003, and they have earned 17 points from the last 21 points available. With excellent players and an outstanding coach, it is no wonder they are succeeding.