Real Sociedad take on the visitors Almeria in the round 36 match of Spanish LaLiga. The match will be played on Tuesday, May 23rd at Reale Arena (San Sebastian).
Real Sociedad, under Imanol Alguacil, who once started here as a player, have reached a new level. A clear confirmation of this was their victory in the Copa del Rey in spring, which brought the first title in decades since the 80s when the current coach was still with the club's youth team. However, they struggled to build on that success and replicate it in La Liga. On several occasions, they had decent starts in San Sebastian, staying among the leaders, but they couldn't maintain that form throughout the season. But now, the conditions are just right for the team. Firstly, the perennial favorite in the battle for the 4th Champions League spot, Sevilla, dropped out of the race. Secondly, this time Real Sociedad didn't fade away in the second half of the season (though, of course, they had their setbacks), and they even managed to improve their performance in spring. However, they must not relax and need to maintain their current momentum. They defeated Barcelona, and although they still have some ground to make up on Villarreal, it is not an insurmountable lead. Playing at home now, they can make a significant impact in this race.
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Almeria have previously played in La Liga and achieved moderate success. Their relegation was a result of a terrible financial situation rather than sporting issues. They managed to make a comeback with the arrival of a new owner, Turki Al-Sheikh. Even Ruby, the current coach, only achieved promotion in their second attempt in 2022. Initially, their goals are standard for any elite division, and La Liga is no exception. Moreover, despite displaying decent statistics there, Almeria is still fighting for survival, with no guarantees of success at the end. They were fortunate to excel against direct competitors in April-May, defeating Valencia, Getafe, and Elche. However, in other matches, they struggled to secure points, often failing to even secure draws. But after crushing Mallorca, the team has managed to distance themselves from the relegation zone, reaching 39 points, which is usually enough for survival.
In the 2014-2015 period, Almeria had a successful run against Real Sociedad, with two victories and a draw. However, after their long-awaited promotion to La Liga, they lost 0-2 at home to the Txuri-urdinak. The hosts are undoubtedly the favorites, and furthermore, the guests have already resolved many of their own issues. Therefore, it is worth betting that the home team will win with a handicap of "-1.0 goals scored."
Prediction for the match: Real Sociedad to win with -1.0 handicap.