Real Sociedad vs Inter: Champions League match preview

Last Updated on 19/09/2023 by

This season’s Champions League group stage kicks off on Wednesday, with Inter’s visit to Real Sociedad’s Reale Arena.

While the hosts are making their return to Europe’s elite tournament after a 10-year absence, the visitors advanced all the way to the final last season before losing to Manchester City.

Sociedad vs Inter

Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad finished fourth in La Liga last season with 71 points after playing 38 games, qualifying them for the Champions League group stage for the first time in 10 years.

In the Europa League, La Real finished first in their group with 15 points, advancing directly to the round of 16. They scored 10 goals and allowed only two, winning five games and losing only once, to Manchester United.

As a result, Alguacil’s squad advanced automatically to the round of 16, where they would face Roma. Unfortunately, they would be eliminated after suffering a 2-0 loss to the eventual runners-up in Rome thanks to goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Marash Kumbulla.

After a successful season in the league, the Basque club has struggled to start the new one, winning only one of their first five La Liga matches.

After losing 2-1 on the road to league leaders Real Madrid last weekend despite taking an early lead through Barrenetxea, Alguacil’s squad will look to get back on track with a home victory in the Champions League on Wednesday. Real Madrid came back with goals from Federico Valverde and Joselu.

Inter is their opponent in the upcoming Champions League season; last year they came within a whisker of winning the European trophy for the fourth time, and for the first time since 2010.

Simone Inzaghi’s squad finished second in their group behind Bayern Munich, with 10 points, and advanced against Porto and Benfica of Portugal, 1-0 and 5-3, respectively, to earn a spot in the round of 16.

In the semi-finals, they faced off against AC Milan, whom they defeated 2-0 in the first leg at the San Siro thanks to early goals from Edin Dzeko and Henrik Mkhitaryan. This set up a decisive match with Manchester City, which they lost 1-0 as a result of a goal by Rodri in the 22nd minute. 

Despite that setback, and their third-place finish in Serie A, Inter enter their Champions League opener on the strength of a flawless start to the new Serie A campaign, having won their opening four matches by scoring 13 goals and only conceding once. Most recently, they thrashed AC Milan 5-1 in the Derby della Madonnina, with goals from Mkhitaryan, Marcus Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Fratessi. Inter are currently sitting at the top of the table.

After a strong start and a weekend of wins over their opponents, Inter will go to the Basque Country looking to get off to a good start in their quest to return to the latter stages of Europe’s top competition.

Real Sociedad Team News

Carlos Fernandez, Real Sociedad’s star striker, is out due to a continental suspension for his red card in last season’s loss to Roma in the Europa League. Newly acquired forward Andre Silva and veteran defender Martin Merquelanz are also sidelined due to injuries.

Without Silva, Mikel Oyarzabal will be the line’s captain in a 4-3-3 formation with Takefusa Kubo and Ander Barrenetxea, who have both been impressive this year with three goals apiece, on either side of the Spaniard. 

Other important players are Martin Zubimendi, Brais Mendez, and Mikel Merino in midfield, Robin Le Normand and Igor Zubeldia at center back, and Arsenal loanee Kieran Tierney on the left side of defense.

Possible lineup for Sociedad :

Remiro, Traore, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Tierney, Mendez, Zubimendi, Merino, Kubo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Barrenetxea

Inter Team News

Inter are healthy and ready to travel on Wednesday; Inzaghi may choose to keep the same starting lineup that defeated AC Milan 5-0 last weekend. However, players like Marko Arnautovic and fifth-goal scorer Davide Frattesi are pushing for starting roles, as is defender Stefan de Vrij.

Henrik Mkhitaryan, fresh off a brace in his previous match, should once again operate in an advanced midfield role, most likely alongside Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella. However, he will likely be given the nod over Matteo Darmian, Francesco Acerbi, and Alessandro Bastoni, who were the preferred trio in the previous match.

Star player Lautaro Martinez will once again lead the line in the attack for Inter; he scored 28 goals in all competitions last season and already has five goals in Serie A this year. He also had three goals and three assists in the Champions League.

Possible lineup for Inter

Yann Sommer, Pavard, De Vrij, Bastoni, Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco, Lautaro Martinez, Thuram


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