Real Sociedad vs Paris Saint-Germain. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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Will Real Sociedad manage to beat Kylian Mbappe and Co. by 2 goals or more?

Real Sociedad will host Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match at the Reale Arena. The fixture will take place on Wednesday, March 6, beginning at 01:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Real Sociedad News & Current Form: 

Real Sociedad had a great first half at Parc de Princes three weeks ago, but failed to translate the game advantage into a score on the scoreboard. The Basques gave a brisk first half, hit more shots (5:4), were not inferior in terms of сreating (xG) – 0.28 vs. 0.32 for the hosts and even hit the crossbar. 

In the second half, the Spanish were punished for their wastefulness in attack, conceding 2 goals, which almost eliminated the team’s chances of going further. In the 58th minute, Kylian Mbappe put the Parisians ahead before Bradley Barcola slipped past Hamari Traore and finished a solo pass with a precise shot into the near corner.

After 12 minutes, discouraged San-Sebastians conceded more, but after the final whistle they radiated optimism, with Mikel Merino, for example, declaring that a two goal difference was nothing. 

“Back at the home stadium to our fans, we will spill everything out of ourselves, leave on the field all the universal power,” – promised the midfielder.

To qualify for the playoffs in the return match they need to beat the Parisians with a 3 goal difference. Considering not only the level of the opponent, but also six injured players, including the uncertainty about Mikel Oyarzabal, the task seems almost impossible. Although RC Deportivo La Coruña once created a world sensation by knocking AC Milan out of the playoffs in the 2003/2004 season. 

Sociedad have never lost at home in the group stage and will do everything they can to keep that streak going. But it’s hard to believe in a full-fledged comeback: Luis Enrique’s men have enough class to hold on to a result that would be enough to reach the quarterfinals.

Moreover, the White and Blues have been in crisis since the start of the winter, with only one win in nine matches in all competitions. And it came only in the third added minute of a 2:1 away match to RCD Mallorca. On their home field, the situation is even sadder: no success in seven consecutive matches at the Reale Arena – a Copa Del Rey exit at the hands of the same Mallorca (1:1, 4:5 penalties), three draws and two defeats in the La Liga, plus a draw with FC Red Bull Salzburg (0:0) in the Champions League. In four cases, the Blues have not even scored.

Recently, the wards of Imanol Alguacil lost at home to Villarreal CF (1:3), and last Saturday the Striped Ones capitulated to Sevilla FC (3:2 in Andalusia). Three days before the showdown with PSG, the coaching staff rested their leaders: Takefusa Kubo, Merino, Robin Le Normand and Traore were on the bench for the entire 90 minutes, while Brais Mendez only appeared for half an hour.

Sociedad scored both of their goals when trailing behind, and scored their second goal only in the second half’s extra time. Thus, the team has won only one of the last 9 matches in all competitions and is not even among the top six teams in the Primera (7th place). 

In the current stretch of the season, Real are clearly in a slump, which has affected all aspects of the game. There is no density in defense, so there are a lot of goals conceded. Still, the squad of Txuriurdin lack depth, which makes rotation difficult. It will take some time to overcome the crisis, so it will be incredibly difficult to cope with PSG.

And this is despite the fact that the team started the season well. Imanol Alguacil’s men have been solid defensively, and the pressing system was considered one of the most effective among the clubs from the top-5 European championships. Real Sociedad held a high place in the La Liga standings and performed well in the group stage of the Champions League.

Takefusa Kubo – key player of Real Sociedad

The head coach assembled a squad that fully met his requirements. The system-forming players for Alguacil were Martin Zubimendi, Mendez and, of course, Takefusa Kubo. It is the Japanese who is entrusted with the functions of the organizer of dangerous moments, and he is great at solving key episodes.

Summer transfer Arsen Zakharyan has gradually earned the trust of Sociedad’s coach. He tries not to make mistakes and punctually fulfills the coach’s instructions. For this reason, there are very few creative actions in the player’s performances, but as he adapts to the club, it is very likely that the midfielder will take the initiative more often. So far, in 30 games played, the player has only one goal and one assist. Moreover, in 15 matches in a row he has not made a single productive action.

In the first match against the Parisians, Sociedad were missing a host of important players in their bid, including crucial Aihen Munoz (out for the rest of the season), Álvaro Odriozola (cruciate ligament tear) and captain Oyarzabal (8 goals in La Liga), not to mention Kieran Tierney, Carlos Fernandez, Martin Merquelanz, Aritz Elustondo and winter newcomer Sheraldo Becker from FC Union Berlin

Paris Saint-Germain News & Current Form: 

In the first match, PSG did most of the work, surviving the opening 45 minutes, and in the second half of the game secured a confident 2:0 victory. Of course, the Parisians are well aware that a trip to the quarterfinals is far from a foregone conclusion, because the recent failures in the main continental championship have left their mark on the psychological state of the players.

However, the wards of Luis Enrique have reason for optimism: in the Ligue 1 PSG do not experience any problems and are at the top of the standings with a 9-point gap from the nearest pursuers – Stade Brestois. The head coach’s scheme, which was much criticized at the beginning of the season, has worked to the maximum, and the team is performing confidently. 

Lucas Hernandez has finally recovered from an injury will take part in the 2nd leg game with Real Sociedad

In the last two rounds the capital club made a couple of misfires, playing a draw first with Stade Rennais FC (1:1), and then with AS Monaco (0:0), but the team certainly does not have a serious crisis. First of all, Rennais won six consecutive rounds of the French championship, and Monaco are in the top-3, fighting for a direct ticket to the Champions League. 

Secondly, before that the Parisians had won five wins in a row, and their winless streak has already reached 20 matches – the last defeat was in early November from Milan away at San Siro (1:2).  

In the last round of the national championship Luis Enrique’s wards separated the last draw and extended their unbeaten streak to 20 matches in all tournaments. The last time PSG had such a successful stretch was in the 2018/19 season under Tuchel, then the Frenchmen reached the UCL final.

At the same time, of course, the team is affected by the talk of the departure of Kylian Mbappe. This saga has been going on for years, but this time it looks like he will leave Paris and will surely move to Real Madrid CF

Shockingly, the coach removed Mbappe from the field during both games against Rennes and Monaco. This has not happened since October of 2022, except that in those two matches in a row Kylian made a double, for which he was honored with a solemn send-off to the bench.

Enrique formally explained his decision by the fact that his team should think about how to learn to play without Kylian, but people suspect: there may have been some conflict on the background of the player’s transfer to Real Madrid. However, the next meeting between Enrique and Mbappe put everything in its place: according to the coach, it’s not just the fact that the team will have to play without their star striker. Kylian seems to be still recovering from an ankle injury in the cup match against Brestois, and therefore he is not giving his best.

The visitors will be without long term absentees Presnel Kimpembe, Sergio Rico and Milan Skriniar. On the other hand, left-back Lucas Hernandez has fully recovered from injury, while his rival in this position Nuno Mendes returned to the pitch a week ago. Captain Marquinhos is also expected to be ready to play on Tuesday, while Marco Asensio is in the infirmary after another injury.

Real Sociedad form guide: L-L-W-L-D-L

Paris Saint-Germain form guide: W-W-W-W-D-D

Real Sociedad vs Paris Saint-Germain Head-To-Head Record:

Real SociedadDrawParis Saint-Germain
  • February 14, 2024: Paris Saint-Germain 2 – 0  Real Sociedad (UEFA Champions League).

Real Sociedad vs Paris Saint-Germain Predicted XI:

Real Sociedad’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Remiro; Traore, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Galan; Mendez, Zubimendi, Merino; Kubo, Silva, Oyarzabal.

Paris Saint-Germain’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Hernandez, Mendes; Zaire-Emery, Ugarte, Vitinha; Dembele, Mbappe, Barcola.

Statistical preview of the match Real Sociedad vs Paris Saint-Germain:

  • Real Sociedad’s First XI average age is 27.5 years, Saint-Germain’s First XI average age is 24.4 years.
  • The total value of the Spanish team squad is 486 mln euros, while the total of PSG comes up to 1.03 bln euros.
  • Michael Oliver has been appointed as the center referee. The referee has already served 27 games this season, showing an average of 4.6 Yellow Cards and also whistles 24 fouls per game. 
  • Real Sociedad have not scored a single goal in their last 3 encounters in the Champions League.
  • Parisians own a 20-match unbeaten streak in all competitions.
  • In the last two draws of the Champions League PSG departed exactly at the stage of 1/8 finals. 
  • Real Sociedad celebrated only 1 victory in 9 previous encounters, defeating Mallorca in La Liga.
  • Real Sociedad’s average possession percentage is 56.81%, while PSG’s is 65.93.
  • The Spaniards have an average xG (expected goals) of 1.35, while the Parisians have 2.22.
  • PSG earn an average of 0.37 penalties per game, while Real earn 0.2.
  • The team from San Sebastian averages 4.15 shots on goal, while the Parisians average 6.23.
  • Real Sociedad serve an average of 6.86 corners, while PSG serve 7.57. 

What has been said before the match:

Imanol Alguacil, coach of the Spanish side, about his pregame message to the team:

“I ask the team for personality, just as we did in Paris. We made it clear there that we are capable. For our part, we’ll do everything we can to achieve it. I want the best atmosphere, both on and off the pitch.”

“It won’t be easy, but we are full of enthusiasm. The fans are with the team, we saw it last week. We want it to happen again tomorrow. We have a great game ahead of us. We are all thinking about winning the match and being in the quarterfinals, we have no doubts. I expect an open game, but all matches are different. The important thing is to compete, to be alive.”

Gaffer of Paris Saint-Germain Luis Enrique ahead of the return leg in UCL:

“What I expect from the team is to rise to the occasion. Approach the match as we’ve done before. I see the team is confident. Our objective is to win the match, and it will be tough.”

“We manage it normally. The scenario is very appealing; the city and the competition are eagerly anticipating this moment. We will have a special training session, the day before the match and on the pitch where we will play.”

“Return matches are always tough. Even with more favorable matchups than the one we have. It’s a good result, but it can be complicated if you don’t take to the field with the right attitude and focus. We need to work on all offensive and defensive aspects. We are in a good moment; I can have my 23 players ready to play this Tuesday.”

Real Sociedad vs Paris Saint-Germain Prediction:

The recent setbacks of the White and Blues do not invalidate the main thing: this team has a lot of spirit, Real Sociedad will definitely provide a ‘warm welcome’ to the Parisians. The first-leg match between the rivals at the Parc de Princes serves as proof. The result of the first match leaves no other options for Real Sociedad but to play actively in positional attack. Sociedad have never lost at home in the group stage and will do everything they can to keep that streak alive. It is encouraging that the team’s best player, goalscorer and captain, Mikel Oyarzabal, will likely be available for the upcoming meeting. With him and the support of the home crowd, La Erreala will have a better chance to show their best football. Nevertheless, it’s hard to believe in a full-blown comeback: Luis Enrique’s men have enough class to hold on to a result that would be enough to reach the quarter-finals. Defensively, PSG are solid, so the club will probably be able to neutralize the threat. For the Parisians, who are excellent in open spaces on the counterattack, the initiative in the match from the Basques is the best scenario. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: PSG will not lose and the match total will be less than 3.5 goals – Yes.