Former Real Madrid manager, Julen Lopetegui, did his former a huge favour on Friday as Sevilla held Barcelona to a draw.
This gives Real Madrid the chance to go top of the league on Sunday if they can beat Real Sociedad at Donostia-San Sebastian.
Real Madrid have the head-to-head advantage over Barcelona–which is the tiebreaker in Spain as against goals differential. Therefore, a win on Sunday will take them to the summit after winning their first two matches after the restart.
Immediately after the hard-fought 3-0 win over Valencia on Wednesday, Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, revealed his team have to play every league game till the end of the season like a cup final.
“We’re where we want to be but now, we have to keep going because this is the second game, we’ve got nine finals to come. We have to rest up now because we don’t have much time, and we then have to prepare for Sunday’s game.”
No just yet
But Barcelona are not giving up the fight just yet as emphasised by the manager, Quique Setien, who in the post-match interview said he was sure Real Madrid will not win all their remaining matches.
This still gives Barcelona a chance to nick the title, which they are trying to win for the third consecutive season.
On another note, Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique, believes the onus is now firmly with Real Madrid, with seemingly the better run-in.
“This result leaves us in a position where we no longer just depending on ourselves,” Pique said in the post-match interview.
Real Sociedad v Real Madrid @Donostia-San Sebastian @9pm on June 21
Sociedad sit uncomfortably in sixth place but a two-goal margin defeat to Real Madrid will send them to seventh.
Their form after the restart has not been the best, having taken only one point from matches against Osasuna and Deportivo Alaves.
Real Sociedad coach, Imanol Alguacil, admitted in the pre-match press conference that his team, including on-loan Real Madrid midfielder, Martin Odegaard, has not been good after the restart.
“Just like the rest of our team, he is not at his best after the lockdown. It’s true that he had some pain and discomfort and that’s why I subbed him off. He’s a crucial player who completed a brilliant first half of the season, also part of the second half, but he has other crucial players around him who we need to find as well.”
Current Form: Real Sociedad [L-D-W-L-W]; Real Madrid [W-W-L-W-L]
Head to head
06/02/20 CDR Real Madrid 3 – 4 Real Sociedad
23/11/19 LAL Real Madrid 3 – 1 Real Sociedad
12/05/19 LAL Real Sociedad 3 – 1 Real Madrid
06/01/19 LAL Real Madrid 0 – 2 Real Sociedad
10/02/18 LAL Real Madrid 5 – 2 Real Sociedad
Prediction: Real Sociedad 2-3 Real Madrid