Sevilla travel to Real Sociedad this weekend looking for three points which could help them move into the top half of La Liga.
They are taking on a Real Sociedad side that are the fifth best team in Spain when it comes to retaining the ball, which means one of Sevilla’s main tactics will be to throw in tackles and win the ball back regularly.
Sevilla have two players in particular who could literally do some damage to Real Sociedad’s first choice players and any significant injuries the home side sustain during the game will benefit Manchester United when the sides meet in the Champions League next month.
There are two Sevilla players who are likely to be given the task of showing their natural aggressive tendencies from this season; defender Cala and on loan holding midfield player Stephane Mbia.
Cala is the joint most booked player in La Liga with four yellow cards, which shows he sometimes launches into tackles without the best degree of accuracy and timing.
Needless to say when a defender flies into a challenge whether he’s trying to clear his lines or break up a counter attack, there is a significant risk involved for the player on the receiving end.
The reason QPR’s Mbia is significant is because he’s in the top ten La Liga players committing the most fouls this season.
Cala doesn’t get anywhere near the top ten for fouls so the fact Mbia doesn’t get close to his yellow card count must mean the Cameroonian has an amazing ability to sweet talk his way out of difficult situations with the ref.
As far as Manchester United are concerned, they’ll be hoping Unai Emery keeps the off the leash and doesn’t attempt to get them to calm down a little bit.
United would certainly benefit if someone like Esteban Granero, a player with a 92% passing success rate at Real Sociedad this season, was unavailable.
What sort of threat do you think Real Sociedad will be to United?
image: © eslee82