RB Salzburg vs Real Sociedad Prediction, Preview, Lineups & Betting Tips
A late goal in San Sebastian gave RB Salzburg a 2-2 draw to pick up into the home second leg at the “Red Bull Arena”. “The Red Bulls” were also leading 0-1 on half-time after an own-goal by Mikel Oyarzabal, before a second-half response by the young Spanish talent Alvaro Odriozola and former Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj. Thus Real Sociedad enjoyed a full comeback until Takumi Minamino’s late equalizer, whose effort makes Austrian champions slight favourites (according to the bookies and their betting odds) before the second round. Nevertheless, this season’s UEFA Europa League top scorers Real Sociedad (18 goals) will fancy their chances of getting an away goal of their own. Furthermore, the Basques are those having most shots per game (21.7) in the Europa League campaign so far and they also hold the ball most among all sides – average of 64.9% ball possession.
Find out the possible starting lineups of RB Salzburg and Real Sociedad, as well as our betting prediction with the highest betting odds available on the chosen market.
Salzburg came unbeaten through a UEFA Europa League group for a record fourth time. They are undefeated in their last 16 European matches (9 wins, 7 draws), since a 0-1 home loss to Nice on matchday three of last season’s Europa League group phase. Marco Rose’s men will be inspired to maintain their impressive streak but the ambitious young German coach will have to make some rotations in defense where Duje Caleta-Car is suspended, so Rose hopes to have his central defender Marin Pongracic and right-back Stefan Lainer (both are questionable, recovering from illness) back in time. Otherwise he may have to field some of the backup players into first-team action, including 20-years-old centre-back Jerome Onguene, who scored one of the goals during Salzburg’s 4-0 win over St. Polten last weekend. Such a result extends the lead RB Salzburg already have top of the domestic Bundesliga standings and “The Red Bulls” are now fully focused over their European perspective.
Good news are that Lainer and Pongracic are both expected to be ready in time so the winter signing Andre Ramalho should form a centre-back partnership with the latter.
Real Sociedad’s boss Eusebio Sacristan has his own injury concerns before the Austrian bound. The Portuguese left-back Kevin Rodrigues and Mexican centre-back Hector Moreno are both doubts with muscle injuries, while top goal scorer Willian Jose (5 goals in the competition and 11 in the La Liga) looks set to miss out with a broken toe. Juanmi, Jon Bautista and Imanol Agirretxe are all options to replace the injured Brazilian and Juanmi can be favoured after scoring a goal in weekend’s 3-0 success over Levante. Xabi Prieto and Sergio Canales were the other two goal scorers in a victory that has climbed Sociedad’s up to the 12th position but we should note that the Basques have scored 46 goals in 24 rounds, making them the fourth most-high-scoring La Liga team, scoring more goals than Atletico Madrid (2nd). Moreover, it was the second clean sheet of Real Sociedad in the last 4 games, as for comparison they have had one clean sheet only in 11 games before that.
Europa League: RB Salzburg vs Real Sociedad Betting Tips and Prediction
The Basques are bidding to make it three UEFA Europa League away wins in succession, having beaten Vardar Skopje (6-0) and Rosenborg (1-0) in the group stage, after an earlier 3-1 loss to Zenit in Saint Petersburg.
On the other hand, the Austrians have kept clean sheets in six of their last seven European home games and if they manage to hold on the Basques as well, this will secure them a spot in the last 16. However, Salzburg’s record in 13 games against Spanish teams is 3 wins, 2 draws and 8 defeats. They have lost their last two home games against La Liga sides, most recently in the 2014/15 1/16 finals, the last time they reached this stage, when Villarreal defeated them 3-1 in Austria to complete a 5-2 aggregate triumph.
RB Salzburg are undefeated at home since November 2016 (0-1 vs Admira) but most of their games were in the domestic Bundesliga, except the European games early in current campaign. The 1-1 draw vs Rijeka was their only continental slip, but it cost them a position in the Champions League play-offs. It has been followed by victories over Viitorul Constanta, Olympique Marseille, Vitoria Guimaraes, as well as a goalless draw with Konyaspor.
Although they’re winless in five consecutive away games, after their late-November victory in Norway, we do believe Real Sociedad have the quality to challenge RB Salzburg and our betting prediction is backing the visiting side. We all know how capable the Spanish clubs are and they’re always interested into a European breakthrough.
We place our stake on Real Sociedad with the Asian Handicap +0.25 (0, +0.5) backing them, meaning half of your stake wins if the game ends in a draw, while your whole bet is a winning one if the Basques win in Austria.
Possible Lineups of RB Salzburg and Real Sociedad
Venue: “Red Bull Arena”, Wals-Siezenheim, Salzburg.
Referee: Sergei Karasev from Russia.
RB Salzburg: Alexander Walke – Andreas Ulmer, Marin Pongracic, Andre Ramalho, Stefan Lainer – Xaver Schlager, Diadie Samassekou, Amadou Haidara – Hannes Wolf – Munas Dabbur, Takumi Minamino. (4-3-1-2)
Missing players: Duje Caleta-Car is suspended. Marin Pongracic, Stefan Lainer, Valon Berisha and Christoph Leitgeb are all doubtful.
Real Sociedad: Gerónimo Rulli – Alvaro Odriozola, Diego Llorente, Aritz Elustondo, Alberto de la Bella – Xabi Prieto, Asier Illarramendi, David Zurutuza – Sergio Canales, Juanmi, Mikel Oyarzabal. (4-3-3)
Missing players: Carlos Martínez and Willian Jose are both injured, Hector Moreno and Kevin Rodrigues are both questionable.