Real Sociedad bossed the 1st Leg last week with some comical Villarreal defending contributing to them taking a 3-0 lead at the Anoeta with all of their front three netting. However, Villarreal’s late away goal courtesy of midfielder Trigueros has given them a fighting chance in this 2nd Leg.
That is particularly true given how strong Villarreal are at the back. They have the best defensive record in La Liga with only 0.71 goals per game conceded this term and they kept a star-studded Barcelona side pretty quiet for 89 minutes on Saturday before a Leo Messi free-kick broke their resistance and denied them maximum points.
They can take great heart from the performance though and have a few important players available here that couldn’t feature in last week’s 1st Leg, including the very influential Bruno who is a veteran of nights like this at El Madrigal. Certainly we should see a much-improved Villarreal performance on home soil, where they’ve won 6 of their last 8 home league games, which includes a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad.
The Basque side are a bit of an enigma in truth. At times they’ve been brilliant, particularly going forward, but there have also been some abject defensive displays that ought to give Villarreal real hope here. They followed that impressive 1st Leg win up with an embarrassing 4-0 home defeat against Sevilla at the weekend. Given 10 players started both games, it’s hard to find an explanation for the contrast but if they play the same way again here, they are certain to get turned over.
Villarreal may rotate their side slightly but it seems highly unlikely that they will be as poor as they were in the 1st Leg when a lot of sloppiness crept into their play. Real Sociedad have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 9 games, despite strong overall form, so there will be chances for the hosts here and backing Villarreal to Win at Evens looks to offer pretty good value and there is still a path through to the last eight available to them.
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