Date: 31 July 2014
Venue: Anoeta Staidum, San Sebastian, Spain
Time: 19:30 BST
Scottish outfit Aberdeen travel to San Sebastian to take on Real Sociedad. Aberdeen will go into this tie as underdogs, but they will be confident as they upset Dutch side Groningen 2-1 on aggregate in the previous round. Their only signing so far is David Goodwillie from Blackburn, but they have kept all their key players and will be bolstered by the fact that they have already started playing competitive football.
Sociedad, on the other hand, will hope that they can cope with the losses of star winger Antoine Griezmann and star goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.
Sociedad’s Pre-season form
They faced three Dutch sides so far during preseason, losing to Ajax, tying Feyenoord, and beating NEC. They haven’t put in any outstanding performances, and they haven’t played any competitive matches so far this season which could give Aberdeen an advantage.
Aberdeen’s Pre-season form
Aberdeen defeated Lithuania’s FK Daugava Riva 8-0 on aggregate in the first round of the Europa league, and then they defeated Groningen 2-1 on aggregate in the second round. Their only tie so far came in the first leg against Groningen. All of these outstanding results will be a huge boost in confidence for Aberdeen.
Real Sociedad: Carlos Vela
With Antoine Griezmann having just been sold to Atletico Madrid, a lot could fall on the shoulders of Carlos Vela to see if Sociedad canbeat Aberdeen’s stringy defense.
Aberdeen: Adam Rooney
Whether Aberdeen sit back or go after Sociedad, the goal-scoring responsibility could have to fall to their Irish number 9, who has scored six goals so far for Aberdeen in European competitions this season.
Although Aberdeen have the confidence, and have been playing competitive football, I think Sociedad will still have too much quality. Their coach, Jagoba Arrasate, has said they won’t make the mistake Groningen did in thinking the tie was over after the first leg.
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