The home side will be looking to continue their run of improving their league position for the fifth consecutive year (13th last season), while their opponents will be looking to build on an impressive sixth place last term - although they were in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification for quite a while.
Valladolid's pre-season has been relatively calm. Their €12 million sale of Mo Salisu to Southampton raised much needed funds for their tightly-run ship to make new signings. The results have been a bit disappointing in pre-season, with losses to Malaga and Sporting Lisbon only bettered by a 3-0 win over Granada and an impressive 2-2 draw against SC Braga.
Sociedad, on the other hand, have had their pre-season disrupted by key members of their squad testing positive for COVID-19, not to mention the irreplaceable loss of Martin Odegaard as Real Madrid ended his loan. With the 2019-20 Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao from last season set to take place around Christmas, all eyes are firmly on La Liga.
A couple of 2-2 draws against Huesca and Deportivo Alaves in pre-season friendlies have soured the mood, with a 2-0 loss to Villarreal further clouding the atmosphere around the club. A 1-0 win over Osasuna lifted hopes somewhat, only for the goalscorer from that game, Willian Jose, to fall victim to the coronavirus.
Real Valladolid vs Real Sociedad Head-to-Head
Valladolid have managed only one victory in their last 10 fixtures against Real Sociedad, a 2-1 away win at the Anoeta in 2018. By contrast, Sociedad have had the better of their opponents four times, including the last time they met in February this year, a 1-0 win at home. Games between the two are generally tight affairs with five draws in the last 10, with most victory margins restricted to a solitary goal.
Real Valladolid form guide: W-L-W-L-D
Real Sociedad form guide: D-D-L-D-W
Real Valladolid vs Real Sociedad Team News
Valladolid's much-celebrated defensive setup under Sergio last season faces their toughest challenge so far, with the loss of their centre-backs. Kiko Olivas's knee issues are expected to keep him out until March, while highly-rated youngster Mohammed Salisu was sold to Southampton. Javi Sanchez, whose loan from Real Madrid was made permanent this summer, and Joaquin Fernandez ought to replace the pair.
New arrivals, Luis Perez (RB), Shon Weissman (ST) and Fabian Orellana (LM/RM) should make their way straight into the first team.
Injuries: Kiko Olivas
Sociedad manager Imanol has plenty of headaches to deal with going into the start of the season, with COVID-19 being chief amongst the disruptors. Spanish legend David Silva, brought in to replace Martin Odegaard, has tested positive as well as attackers Willian Jose and Mikey Oyarzabal.
Youngsters Ander Barrenetxea and Martin Zubimendi ought to replace Oyarzabal and Silva. Andoni Gorosabel may be in line for the right-back position with Joseba Zaldua a fitness doubt for this game.
Injuries: Asier Illaramendi, Martin Merquelanz, Ander Guevara, Luca Sangalli,
Covid-19 Positive: David Silva, Willian Jose, Mikel Oyarzabal
Doubtful: Joseba Zaldua, Nacho Monreal
Real Valladolid vs Real Sociedad Predicted Lineups
Real Valladolid predicted XI (4-4-2): Jordi Masip (GK); Luis Perez, Javi Sanchez, Joaquin Fernandez, Nacho Martinez; Fabian Orellana, Michel Herrero, Ruben Alcaraz, Toni Villa; Shon Weissman, Sergi Guardiola
Real Sociedad predicted XI (4-3-3): Alex Remiro (GK); Andoni Gorosabel, Diego Llorente, Robin Le Normand, Aihen Munoz; Martin Zubimendi, Igor Zubeldia, Mikel Merino; Portu, Alexander Isak, Ander Barrenetxea
Real Valladolid vs Real Sociedad Prediction
In normal times, this ought to have been a comfortable win for Real Sociedad, but with COVID-19 heavily disrupting their pre-season, it may be an awkward trip to the Jose Zorilla stadium.
Fabian Orellana's superb form for Eibar last term could carry over and trouble the Sociedad backline, but with Alexander Isak and Portu on the pitch, Imanol's charges should come away with a draw at the very least.
Prediction: Real Valladolid 2-2 Real SociedadPublished 11 Sep 2020, 17:10 IST