Our prediction for this Europa League match:
After sharing the spoils with AZ Alkmaar in their last group game, Real Sociedad will be looking to retain their spot in top two when they host Rijeka at Reale Seguros Stadium. The La Liga side have been impressive at the back in the Europa League this season, with the team conceding only one goal in the process. Even though key midfielder David Silva is likely to miss the Rijeka game with injury, home win should be considered.
The Croatian outfit do not seem to be competitive at this level, with the team suffering a loss in each of their four group games. Real Sociedad are a real force to be reckoned with at home, and we predict that they are going to pick up all three points from Thursday’s football match. When the two teams met at Stadion HNK Rijeka earlier in the process Real Sociedad defeated Rijeka 1-0.
Highlighted Player (Willian José):
Well-travelled Brazilian international Willian Jose was born in Porto Calvo and made his first football steps at a local Clube de Regatas. It was at the age of 17 that he was snapped by Gremio Barueri where he made 26 league appearances and scored six goal in his first – and only – senior season at the club.
In 2011, Willian Jose moved to Deportivo Maldonado but his five-year stint with the Uruguay outfit was marked by no less than seven different loan spells, one of which was to La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid. Standing at 186cm tall, Willian Jose is a notable presence in the box. This powerful centre forward will use his physicality to hold up ball and bring his teammates into play.
The Brazilian international did well to make a name for himself in Spain by playing for Zaragoza and Las Palmas, respectively, before he sealed a permanent move to Real Sociedad in 2016. A member of both FIFA U-20 World Cup and South American Youth Championship winning sides with Brazil in 2011, Willian Jose has not been given a chance to prove his worth at the senior level with Selecao.
Highlighted Team (Rijeka):
Founded on July 29, 1946 as Sportsko Drustvo Kvarner, Rijeka are a Croatian football club that have always been in Dinamo Zagreb’s shadow. Dinamo are undisputedly the biggest football club in Croatia, but Rijeka did well to put an end to their dominance in the HNL in the 2016/2017 season.
The Rijecki bijeli won their first ever domestic trophy and, as a result, they made it to the Champions League qualifiers. However, Greek champions Olympiacos proved to be a big catch for Matjaz Kek’s troops in the play-offs for the group stages of the elite competition.
Before the breakup of Yugoslavia Rijeka won two domestic cups (1977/1978, 1978/1979) and it has to be noted that they clinched their fourth Croatian Cup title in 2017, with the team beating Dinamo Zagreb in the final of the competition. Rijeka welcome their rivals at Stadion Rujevica and the capacity of the stadium is 8.279. The venue was opened in August 2, 2015.