Real Sociedad wants to take advantage of the European euphoria in Vallecas

Athletic defends its European position against Valencia and Betis and Osasuna want to get closer to the continental zone


Real Sociedad seeks this Sunday in Vallecas (4:15 p.m.) to establish itself in European positions against a Rayo that aspires to enter the continental zone, where there is already an Athletic Club that faces Valencia in San Mamés (6:30 p.m.), all in an eleventh LaLiga EA Sports day in which Real Betis and Osasuna will fight to get closer to the noble zone (2:00 p.m.).

After the exciting victory in ‘Champions’ against Benfica in Lisbon (0-1), where a solitary goal from Brais Méndez gave them the lead in Group D ahead of Inter, the San Sebastian team euphorically resume the domestic competition, where they have only decided three points from the last 15 in play.

The ‘txuri urdin’ team is fifth with 18 points, four away from fourth place and two above the first of the candidates to enter the European zone, precisely their rival this Sunday. Only the defeat against Atlético de Madrid (2-1) has tarnished the recent trajectory of the Imanol Alguacil team, who have accumulated six victories in the last seven games, including the one a week ago against Mallorca (1-0).

Opposite, the Rayista team (16), which has not lost since September 2 and has accumulated six scoring games, was able to break the previous day away from home against Las Palmas (0-1) a series of four consecutive draws, which ‘kicked’ them of the Europa League positions, from which only one point now separates them.

Mikel Merino and Álvaro Odriozola, who have overcome their discomfort, will be available for the realistic coach, who will not be able to count on Martín Merquelanz, André Silva or Kieran Tierney. Francisco, for his part, will have to deal with the absence of the suspended Óscar Valentín, but he recovers Randy Nteka.

In San Mamés, Athletic Club, sixth in the table with 17 points, wants to forget against Valencia its setback against Barça, when a goal by Marc Guiu in the last minutes prevented it from leaving Montjuïc with the spoils (1-0). Only the victory against Almería (3-0) has brought joy to Ernesto Valverde’s team in recent weeks, who have earned four points out of the last 12 possible.

Even so, this Sunday they will defend their continental position against a Valencia team that wants to confirm its reaction after several days of concern. Against Cádiz in Mestalla (2-0), Rubén Baraja’s team broke a streak of four games without winning -two draws and two defeats-, and the result lifted them to eighth place (14), precisely three points behind the Lions’.

In addition to the confirmed losses of Yeray Álvarez and Ander Herrera, the injured Julen Agirrezabala and Yuri Berchiche could be absent from the clash. André Almeida, Mouctar Diakhaby, Jesús Vázquez and Alberto Mari will miss the event for the ‘che’ team.

In the morning duel at the Benito Villamarín, Real Betis hopes to take advantage of the euphoria of their victory against Aris Limassol (0-1) against Osasuna, which gave them the sole lead in their Europa League group, and transfer it to the competition domestic.

The green and white are ninth (14), just one point ahead of the Navarrese (13). Although they have scored five consecutive games, they have only achieved one victory in that time, with a draw against Deportivo Alavés (1-1) before the break and another against Getafe (1-1) after it.

Jagoba Arrasate’s team, for its part, wants to find consistency after alternating victories and defeats in recent days, with a victory against Granada (2-0) – one of the two achieved since September 3 – last week pass.

Manuel Pellegrini will once again regret the losses of Nabil Fekir and Marc Bartra, but in exchange he will have the new signing, the Greek Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The rojillos will have the absence of Juan Cruz and the doubt of Johan Mojica.


Betis – Osasuna. Sánchez Martínez (C.Murciano) 14.00.

Rayo Vallecano – Real Sociedad. Busquets Ferrer (Balearic Islands) 16.15.

Athletic Club – Valencia. Figueroa Vázquez (C.Andaluz) 18.30.

Atlético – Alavés. Muñiz Ruiz (C.Gallego) 21.00.