Our football match prediction:
After impressing in the group stages of the Europa League, Real Sociedad will be looking to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they host Salzburg at their Estadio Municipal de Anoeta. The La Liga side recorded four wins in last five home games in the European competition and it is no surprise they are seen as hot favourites to win Thursday's football match. Willian Jose, who has found his goal-scoring touch of late, will be the man to watch in the home team and he is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders. The Red Bulls are fighting hard to win yet another Austrian Bundesliga title, meaning that they will not be too disappointed should they happen to suffer elimination in the Europa League last 32. It has to be noted that the two teams meet for the first time ever in a competitive match.
Highlighted Player (Asier Illarramendi):
Asier Illarramendi is a product of Real Sociedad’s youth school. He played for Real Sociedad B between 2008 and 2011, scoring 7 goals in 93 appearances for the Basque outfit and he made his first team debut on 23 January, 2011 in a 2-1 defeat to Villarreal. After impressing with Real Sociedad in the 2012/2013 Primera Division campaign, Real Madrid chiefs decided to sign him on 12 July, 2013 for a fee of €32.2 million. Back then that was the highest amount paid by the club for a Spanish footballer, but he failed to impress at Real Madrid. After spending two seasons at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Asier Illarramendi returns to Real Sociedad on 26 August, 2015 and he has been playing for the Anoeta outfit ever since. Asier Illarramendi scored one goal in 33 appearances for La Real in the 2015/2016 La Liga campaign. The talented midfielder has 16 caps for Spain U21 and it has to be noted that he represented La Furia Roja at the 2013 UEFA European Championship.
Highlighted Team (Red Bull Salzburg):
Salzburg are a professional football club that compete in Austrian Bundesliga. The club’s main sponsors are Red Bull and, as a result, they are well known under the name of the Red Bulls. The club was founded on 13 September, 1933 and they won their first Austrian Bundesliga trophy in 1994. Salzburg quickly established themselves as the dominant force in the national championship and they are the most successful Austrian club in the 21st century. It has to be noted that they won their tenth Austrian Premier League trophy in 2016, finishing the season nine points clear of second-placed Rapid Wien. The Red Bulls welcome their rivals at Red Bull Arena, the stadium that was opened on 8 March, 2008. The capacity of the venue is 31 895. Salzburg participated in the 1993/1994 UEFA Cup final, but Italian side proved to be a big catch for the Austrian outfit. Inter recorded a 2-0 win over Salzburg in the final (on aggregate).