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Sep 23, 2021 at 6.30pm UK
Real SociedadReal Sociedad
Sanchez (9'), Milla (70' pen.)
Suarez Charris (28'), Rochina (36'), Duarte (50'), Arias (64'), Sanchez (72')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Elustondo (52', 82'), Merino (60')
Le Normand (72')

Preview: Granada vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Granada vs. Real Sociedad - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's La Liga clash between Granada and Real Sociedad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Granada's search for a first league win of the season continues on Thursday, as they play host to Real Sociedad.

Roberto Moreno's side looked set to defeat Barcelona last time out but were pegged back in the dying minutes, seeing them remain without a victory in La Liga, while their visitors have enjoyed a strong start and sit in fifth spot after five games.

Match preview

After an impressive showing last season, reaching the Europa League quarter-finals and finishing ninth in La Liga, Granada will have hoped for another strong campaign this time around, albeit only competing on the domestic front.

They got off to an acceptable start, holding Europa League champions Villarreal to a goalless draw before earning a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia, despite looking set to pick up a victory thanks to Luis Suarez's opener, only for the visitors to snatch a point through a late Carlos Soler goal.

What could have been the foundations for an unbeaten run has since been the start of a winless one for Roberto Moreno's side, though, as those draws were followed up by a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Rayo Vallecano and a 2-1 home defeat to Real Betis, as they were again cost by a late goal, this time with Sergio Canales netting an 89th-minute winner.

The Nazaries seemed to have turned a corner last time out though, as they looked set to see out a 1-0 win over title-chasing Barcelona, having defended a lead for the entirety of the game after Domingos Duarte's second-minute opener, only for Ronald Araujo to snatch a point for the Catalan giants with a headed equaliser in the final minutes.

While that is a positive result on paper, Moreno's men have now conceded a decisive goal in the final five minutes of three of their five league games this season - a trend that the Spaniard will be desperate to put to an end, but they face another tough test in their search for a first win, as Real Sociedad arrive in good form.

Real Sociedad continued their long-term progression with a fifth-placed finish in La Liga last season, booking their place in the Europa League, and they have picked up where they left off at the beginning of the new term.

After an opening defeat to Barcelona, as they eventually lost 4-2 despite Julen Lobete and Mikel Oyarzabal giving them a lifeline in the final 10 minutes, Imanol Alguacil's men strung three straight league victories together, firstly scraping through a tough clash with newly-promoted Rayo Vallecano.

Ander Barrenetxea then netted the only goal in a 1-0 home victory over Levante, before they made it three straight wins by defeating Cadiz 2-0 away from home thanks to an Oyarzabal brace.

Alguacil's men built on that by earning a commendable 2-2 draw away at PSV Eindhoven in the opening round of fixtures in the Europa League group stage, and now come into Thursday's game on the back of a goalless draw with Sevilla, seeing them extend their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions and climb to sixth spot.

They will now look to continue that run and make a return to winning ways when they travel to Granada.

Granada La Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Real Sociedad La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Real Sociedad form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

Granada's only absentees should be Neyder Lozano and Yan Eteki, with the pair ruled out through tibia and hamstring issues respectively.

Facing a quick turnaround from the gruelling clash with Barcelona, Moreno may be forced to rotate to ensure his squad remains fresh, with the likes of Luis Suarez, Maxime Gonalons and Alberto Soro expected to start.

Experienced Colombian forward Carlos Bacca could also break into the starting XI, allowing a brief rest for Jorge Molina.

Real Sociedad have far more injuries to deal with, as key midfielders Asier Illaramendi, David Silva and Jon Guridi missing out alongside defenders Sergio Rico and Nacho Monreal.

The problems do not stop there, as exciting forward Alexander Isak is ruled out alongside Carlos Fernandez, increasing the reliance on Mikel Oyarzabal, while Adnan Januzaj should also keep a place in the front line.

The absence of talismanic midfielder David Silva should see Ander Guevara join Martin Zubimendi and Mikel Merino in a midfield trio.

Granada possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Arias, Duarte, Sanchez, Quini; Rochina, Gonalons, Montoro; Suarez, Bacca, Soro

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Munoz, Elustondo, Normand, Zaldua; Guevara, Merino, Zubimendi; Oyarzabal, Sorloth, Januzaj

We say: Granada 1-2 Real Sociedad

Despite missing a long list of key players, Real Sociedad have been impressive so far, and we see them continuing a strong run of form by winning on Thursday.

The hosts certainly put up their best performance of the season against Barcelona on Monday, but ultimately could not see out the victory, and that could be telling of Moreno's side, who are still yet to put a team to the sword.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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