Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Reale Arena will host Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Real Sociedad and Benfica. The Basques are eager to retain top position in Group D and a win over Benfica should see them move one step closer to securing a top-two finish. As La Real created a number of clear-cut opportunities to score in an unlucky loss to Barcelona at the weekend, home win should definitely be considered. The likes of Andre Silva, Kieran Tierney, Jon Pacheco, and Martin Merquelanz are out of contention with injuries for the home side.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have been underperforming in the Champions League group stages this term and seeing that Real Sociedad are a real force to be reckoned with at home, we do not believe that the visitors are capable of grabbing something from the match. The good news for the away team is that experienced Argentina winger Angel Di Maria has overcome his injury, but all Alexander Bah, David Neres, and Orkun Kokcu remain in the recovery room.
Highlighted Player (Mikel Oyarzabal):
Intelligence is not an attribute you will find in Mikel Oyarzabal’s stats with Real Sociedad but this tricky winger is a highly knowledgeable winger who will use both brain and feet while playing. For a player born in Eibar, who made his first steps in his hometown club, it was always going to be a choice between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad for Oyarzabal.
La Real saw their chance and grabbed this gem of a player at a young age, helping him develop into a proper professional throughout their youth ranks. Mikel Oyarzabal has spent the entirety of his senior career with the Basque behemoths where he’d use his ability to fill in a number of positions up top much to his own benefit.
Oyarzabal’s positioning and movement are work of a tactical genius, whereas it is his nous to find details to exploit that best define him as a player. Having come through the youth categories of the Spanish national team, Oyarzabal also has a senior cap next to his name. It was in 2016 that he also represented the Basque region, scoring on his debut to cap a 3-1 win over Tunisia.
Highlighted Team (Benfica):
Member of the ‘Big Three’ clubs in Portugal alongside FC Porto and CP Sporting, Sport Lisboa e Benfica are the football club that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga. The club is nicknamed Aguias because of the Eagle symbol atop the club’s crest. Benfica play their home games at the Estadio da Luz which replaced the original one in 2003 and which boasts the capacity of more than 64,000. Arguably the most successful club in Portugal, Benfica have won a record of 35 Primeira Liga titles and also a record 25 Taca de Liga and 7 Taca da Liga trophies.
Two-time European Cup winners, Benfica are the club known for their diligent work with youth players, many of which went on to make great careers abroad. The most prominent players to wear a Benfica shirt are legendary Eusebio, Manuel Bento, Jorge Tavares and most recently Javier Saviola, Nuno Gomes, David Luiz and Angel Di Maria.