Preview: Inter vs Real Sociedad: Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza sets the stage for a top-table Champions League Group D six-pointer between Inter and Real Sociedad. Tuesday’s encounter carries more significance than bragging rights, with a top-place finish at stake. 

Nothing but a goal difference separates the sides ahead of the kick-off. Both teams have racked up three wins and two draws in the opening five rounds. Lautaro Martinez’s equalizer from Inter’s only shot on target held Sociedad to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture on Matchday 1, leaving the top spot up for grabs. 

It’s been over a decade since Inter last topped their Champions League group. However, even if they fail to do so this year, reaching the competition’s knockouts for the third season on the trot is already a significant achievement. Yet, given their formidable form in the build-up to this clash, Simone Inzaghi’s men won’t accept anything less. 

Following a 3-0 statement win against Serie A champions Napoli a fortnight ago, Inter cemented their leadership position in the standings with an overwhelming 4-0 home triumph against Udinese on Sunday. But visiting Sociedad won’t be easy to intimidate as they boast their own purple patch coming into this showdown. 

Despite securing their first progression into the Champions League knockouts since 2003/04, the Spaniards have shown no signs of complacency. A superb first-half performance saw Imanol Alguacil’s side beat Villarreal 3-0 at the weekend, extending their eye-catching unbeaten run across all competitions to seven matches (W5, D2). 

Match Preview


Sociedad’s promising-looking run of form pales in comparison to Nerazzurri’s outrageous 13-game undefeated streak (W10, D3). Adding to this sentiment, Inter have only lost once in 2023/24, courtesy of a shocking 2-1 home defeat to Sassuolo in late September. 

But they’ve since gone into overdrive, racking up five wins in six subsequent home outings (D1). With four of those five victories coming ‘to nil,’ it stands to reason Inter are confident about shutting Sociedad out for only the second time in their fourth-ever European meeting. 

Achieving that feat would go a long way in helping Inter defy their fateful all-time record against La Liga clubs in UEFA competition (W16, D15, L26). They can draw inspiration from pulling off two clean sheets in their last four Champions League games.

Real Sociedad

Sociedad have fared exceptionally well outside San Sebastian this season, losing only twice on 12 competitive travels. Since a 2-1 La Liga defeat at Atletico Madrid in early November, they’ve strung together seven consecutive away games in all competitions without losing (W5, D2).

Such a remarkable away form bodes well for Sociedad’s bid to post their first-ever victory on Italian soil, having lost on three of their four previous visits to the country (D1). There should be no shortage of confidence, considering they’ve won both away matches in this season’s Champions League without conceding. 

Home and away, the Basque giants have only won one of their nine European clashes against Serie A clubs (D4, L4). But if you’re a fan of omens, that solitary success came against none other than Inter in 1979.

Team News

When it looked like Inter were on the verge of overcoming an injury crisis, a new wave of problems emerged at the back. Denzel Dumfries and Stefan de Vrij have joined long-term absentee Benjamin Pavard on the sidelines. But Inzaghi can call upon the rest of his squad. 

As for Sociedad, Ander Barrenetxea and Brais Mendes are the only definite absentees, with Mohamed-Ali Cho facing a race against time to make the team. 

Inter vs Real Sociedad Potential Lineups

Inter (3-5-2): Yann Sommer; Matteo Darmian, Francesco Acerbi, Carlos Augusto; Juan Cuadrado, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Davide Frattesi, Federico Dimarco; Marcus Thuram, Lautaro Martinez.

Real Sociedad (4-5-1): Alex Remiro; Hamari Traore, Igor Zubeldia, Robin Le Normand, Aihen Munoz; Takefusa Kubo, Mikel Merino, Martin Zubimendi, Benat Turrientes, Mikel Oyarzabal; Umar Sadiq.

Inter vs Real Sociedad Prediction

If a 3-3 draw at Benfica last time out taught us anything – you can never write off this Inter side. Even if Nerazzurri fall behind, they should have enough character to bounce back. Yet if they open the scoring, there should be no way back into this contest for Sociedad.

Either way, we expect Inter to prevail.

Prediction: Inter Win

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