Soccer Picks: Real Sociedad vs. Villarreal

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 7:56 PM GMT

Real Sociedad take on Villarreal on the final day of La Liga Primera Division betting, all the while looking to cement a top-six finish for the second season in a row. Here’s a primer on this clash complete with soccer free picks for your betting thrills.

The rise of Real Sociedad
The Basque club accomplished an improbable fourth place finish last season, and the chance to play European football. The future looked bright indeed, and many soccer fans held hope of a revival of their glory days of the late 80s. Alas, they got off to slow start to their La Liga campaign this season.

They won their opening clash with Getafe 2-0, then won their Champions League playoff with Olympique Lyonnais convincingly. The ensuing La Liga output was abysmal with a run of seven games without a win: four draws and three defeats. They did manage to settle in, eventually, but it was clear then that they were struggling with the pressure of expectation, juggling multiple campaigns on all fronts.

In hindsight, that slow start on the season proved costly. It put them on the back foot right from the start, making last season’s Top 4 finish a tough ask. They are set to finish in the Top 6 with a victory over Villarreal in the last lap of Primera Division, so Real Sociedad are yet to see some European football next season.

As things currently stand, Real Sociedad are sixth in the table with a commendable 16-11-10 record and 59 points. They are a point behind Sevilla, and three points clear of Villarreal.

A win over Villarreal will officially seal a sixth place finish on the season. If Sevilla somehow stumbles against Elche, they could potentially leap frog into a fifth place finish. They are 4-3-2 in their last nine home games and overall 11-4-3 at home this season with 37 goals netted, and 17 conceded.

When making your soccer picks, keep in mind that Real Sociedad are the sportsbook favourites at -110 to win outright, and odds makers are expecting a high scoring affair with the 'over' 2.5 favoured at -154 soccer odds at Bet365. Whether the scoring is to come from both camps, or not, is not so certain across soccer betting markets as there’s very little difference between the Yes and No option on Real Sociedad to win and both teams to score, trading at +250 and +275 respectively.

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Villarreal’s European hopes over
Now that Villarreal are confirmed to finish the season in seventh place, they have next to no incentive to win this clash (save for acting the spoilers), and finishing the season on a positive note. If the last lap were an indication however, it probably would be the latter.

Villarreal are seventh in the table with a 16-8-13 record on the season and 56 points. They are flush off a 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano: another match that was arguably without much incentive, yet they went about the business of winning it convincingly. Of course, beating Rayo Vallecano – a poor road side – is one thing. Beating a confident Real Sociedad, boasting an undefeated run of form in their last five games, and just two defeats in their last nine, is another thing.


Real Sociedad vs. Villarreal match betting tips
Real Sociedad have been solid in La Liga overall, and nowhere more so than at home, where they even managed to deposit an outstanding 3-1 victory over Barcelona earlier this season. It's not for nothing that they are the firm favourites to win outright at -110.

For all intents and purposes, we agree with odds makers on this score.  Real Sociedad are going to be tough to beat at home, and they’ll be looking to finish their season on a positive note with a potential fifth place up for grabs. Villarreal, by contrast, are an attractive option at +260 to orchestrate the upset, but their road form belies any such probability. They are a modest 7-2-9 on the season, with 22 goals netted and conceded, and most recently they’ve managed just two victories in nine trips (2-1-6).

Free Soccer Picks: Real Sociedad to win outright at -110 and 'Over' 2.5 at -154. Real to win and No to both teams to score at +275.

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