Real Sociedad will be looking to bounce back from their heavy home defeat to Barcelona when they continue their La Liga campaign away to Elche on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors have picked up three points from their first two league games of the season, while Elche have collected one point from their opening two La Liga fixtures.
Elche finished 13th in La Liga last season, picking up 42 points from 38 matches, with the club operating in their third straight campaign in Spain’s top flight for the first time since the late 1970s.
Los Franjiverdes were only four points above the relegation zone, though, and it would not be a surprise to see them involved towards the bottom of the division this season.
Francisco‘s side opened their 2022-23 La Liga campaign with a 3-0 defeat at Real Betis, but they did manage to pick up a point at home to Almeria last time out, with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw.
Umar Sadiq sent Almeria ahead in the 23rd minute of the contest at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero, but Alex Collado levelled the scores in the 30th minute and that was how it finished.
Elche have actually lost each of their last four La Liga games against Real Sociedad, including a 2-1 defeat in the corresponding game last term, with their last top-flight victory over the Basque side coming in 2015.
Real Sociedad, meanwhile, made the perfect start to their 2022-23 season, recording a 1-0 victory over Cadiz, with new signing Takefusa Kubo scoring the only goal of the contest.
Imanol Alguacil‘s side would have been looking to back up the success when they welcomed Barcelona last weekend, but it proved to be a difficult evening for the Basque outfit.
The two teams were level at 1-1 in the sixth minute, with Alexander Isak cancelling out an effort from Robert Lewandowski, but Xavi‘s team scored three more times in the second half to record a 4-1 win in San Sebastian.
Real Sociedad finished sixth in La Liga last season, three points ahead of seventh-place Villarreal, while they were eight points behind fourth-place Sevilla, so the team will play in the Europa League this term.
The White and Blues will certainly be looking to challenge for a top-six finish once again, but it has been a relatively quiet transfer window for the club, with Brais Mendez, Momo Cho and Kubo the only additions, but there are expected to be more before the end of the transfer market.
Elche will again be without the services of Gonzalo Verdu and Fidel through injury, while John Donald is suspended due to the red card that he picked up against Real Betis.
Francisco’s side did not suffer any fresh issues against Almeria last time out, though, and it is expected to be close to the same XI for this weekend’s contest.
Diego Gonzalez could potentially be introduced at the back, but Roger Marti and Ezequiel Ponce should again operate as the front two, with Tete Morente and Collado playing in the wide areas.
As for Real Sociedad, Martin Merquelanz, Carlos Fernandez, Mikel Oyarzabal and Diego Rico will again be on the sidelines through injury, while Alex Sola remains a doubt.
Isak is on the verge of securing a move to Newcastle United, so the Sweden international will not be involved, with Cho potentially getting the nod through the middle.
Mendez, David Silva and Kubo should again operate in the forward positions for the Basque side, while Mikel Merino and Martin Zubimendi will again be starters in midfield.
Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Roco, Gonzalez, Bigas, Mojica; Morente, Gumbau, Mascarell, Collado; Marti, Ponce
Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Elustondo, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Munoz; Zubimendi, Merino; Kubo, D.Silva, Mendez; Cho