|Socie (-177) @ pinnacle|
8* Real Sociedad (3:00 ET): So we’ve got a side trying to finish in the top five taking on a side trying to escape relegation here. The former is Real Sociedad, who suffered a bit of a head-scratching 1-0 defeat to Huesca last week on an own-goal. They are still fifth in the table, with no chance to finish fourth (17 point difference), but both Villarreal and Real Betis are hot on the 2020 Copa Del Rey Champions’ heels (just one and two points back, respectively). Sociedad doesn’t dare blow a second opportunity to pick up three points at the expense of a bottom of the table side and I’ll go with them here at home.
The drama over who finishes fifth (and qualifies for the Europa League) in La Liga actually pales in comparison to what’s going on at the bottom of the table. The fight to avoid relegation sees just five points separating the bottom five sides. In the mix is Elche, in 19th place, but only a win away from safety. While Elche has played decent football the last two weeks, beating Levante 1-0 and losing by the same score to 1st place Atletico Madrid, Understat still has them with the fewest number of “expected points” in all of La Liga. Their -21 goal differential is second worst in the league. I can see them getting relegated.
A big reason for this play is that no other La Liga side has been worse on their travels than Elche, who has picked up only 10 points from 17 away matches this season. In terms of expected goals scored and allowed, they are the worst in the league in both categories. Real Sociedad has been a solid home team for most of the campaign and this is among the easiest fixtures. They won the reverse 3-0 back in September. Like I said at the outset, Sociedad can’t have a second straight miss on the full three (points). 8* Real Sociedad
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