Thursday, February 17
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Dec 9, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
Real SociedadReal Sociedad
PSVPSV Eindhoven
Oyarzabal (43' pen., 62'), Sorloth (90+3')
Zubimendi (45+2'), Isak (81')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Sangare (40'), Mwene (42'), Boscagli (60'), Vinicius (81'), Gotze (87'), Bruma (90+2')
Sangare (75')

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

:Headline: Preview: Real Sociedad vs. PSV Eindhoven - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Real Sociedad and PSV Eindhoven, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Real Sociedad play host to PSV Eindhoven on Thursday evening knowing that only victory will do if they want to progress through to the Europa League knockout stages.

Meanwhile, PSV, who can no longer finish top of Group B, require just a point in Spain to book their place in the last 32 of the competition.

Match preview

There had been signs that Real Sociedad's blistering start to the campaign was beginning to peter out throughout November after a number of disappointing draws.

With three defeats having now been posted since November 25, Imanol Alguacil's and his squad have their backs firmly against the wall, the club now down in fifth position in La Liga.

To compound their recent misery, they have been left facing a must-win game on Thursday, a consequence of prevailing in just one of their five group matches in this competition.

The 1-1 draw at home to Sturm Graz was the turning point, Sociedad following that result with a 2-1 defeat in Monaco at the end of last month.

While Sociedad remain with one of the best defensive records in La Liga, their efforts have been undermined by Alexander Isak netting just once since the end of October.

As far as PSV are concerned, they will be delighted with having reached this stage of the campaign with their fate in their own hands, particularly having started the group with a 2-2 draw at home to Thursday's opponents.

The consensus was that Roger Schmidt's team needed to take advantage of their home games to finish ahead of Sociedad, but they have benefitted from Sociedad's slip up versus Graz.

Last time out, they posted a 2-0 triumph over the Austrian side, ensuring that a spot in the preliminary knockout round remains within their grasp.

In total, PSV have put together a seven-match unbeaten record in all competitions, the 4-1 win over FC Utrecht keeping them within two points of leaders Ajax.

The goals have been shared out throughout the PSV squad this season, although Cody Gakpo has been the standout with 11 contributions in the final third during Eredivisie fixtures.

Real Sociedad Europa League form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

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

PSV Eindhoven Europa League form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

PSV Eindhoven form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Given what is at stake for Sociedad, Alguacil may select a similar side to the one which started against Real Madrid.

Aihen Munoz is an alternative at left-back, while versatile attacker Portu could be drafted into a role in the final third.

Aritz Elustondo should also be handed a recall after missing the meeting with Los Blancos through suspension.

Despite making his return from injury at the weekend, Noni Madueke may only be selected on the PSV substitutes' bench.

Needing only a draw, Schmidt could withdraw one of his creative players to include Marco van Ginkel in his midfield.

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Gorosabel, Elustondo, Le Normand, Munoz; Januzaj, Guevera, Zubimendi, Oyarzabal; Sorloth, Isak

PSV Eindhoven possible starting lineup:
Drommel; Mwene, Ramalho, Boscagli, Junior; Sangare, Van Ginkel, Gotze; Bruma, Vinicius, Gakpo

We say: Real Sociedad 1-1 PSV Eindhoven

With home advantage in their favour, Sociedad will feel that they can shake off their recent poor form to keep their hopes of Europa League success alive. However, we are backing PSV to claim the draw that they need to edge out their hosts, potentially finding a late goal to earn a share of the spoils.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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