Aberdeen was the underdog in the first leg against Groningen, simply because the Dutch side was more experienced in playing in European competitions. The first leg could’ve easily gone either way, but when action shifted to the Netherlands, it was the Scottish team that looked more dangerous upfront. The visitors took the lead early and then extended their advantage in the first half, which left the Dutch team fight an uphill battle that proved to be impossible to win.
This time, they try to cause another upset away from home, but they will play against a considerably better opponent. Real Sociedad used to be a force to be reckoned with, especially when they had home pitch advantage, but in the last couple of matches they were unable to build on this edge. Bookmakers are not very optimistic about the visitors’ chances of avoiding defeat, but those who favor Aberdeen will find a couple of morale boosting arguments at http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28508332.
Last time the Spanish side played in the European competition, things took a turn for the worse relatively early as they failed to advance from the group stage. Granted it was the Champions League that they were trying to survive, the disappointing performance both at home and away left fans with only unpleasant memories. With the domestic championship on break, Real Sociedad got themselves busy with a string of friendly games, but the results were subpar.
They got plenty of matches against Dutch teams but only won against Nijmegen, while dropping points against top competitors. Some of the best players were traded in the season break and the replacements are unlikely to provide the cutting edge that they need to return to the elite of Spanish football. Losing at home against Aberdeen would only amplify the misery, which explains why the hosts are under so much pressure ahead of this fixture.
The visitors will use a standard 4-4-2 formation with McGinn and Rooney upfront, as they were the most prolific scorers in Europa League qualifiers. They are hardly world-class strikers, but might prove good enough against a stiff defensive who fails to respond properly to counterattacks. There is no head to head record to use as reference, but Aberdeen didn’t lose in the last eight games, while winning five of those matches. By comparison, Real Sociedad won just once in the last six games.