Moyes makes managerial bow in Spain as Sociedad away at Deportivo
As David Moyes prepares to make his dugout debut as coach of Real Sociedad in Galicia, opposite number and Deportivo La Coruna boss Victor Fernandez should share some sympathy with him.
Both men have tried to follow tough acts in their careers without success. While Moyes took the reins from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Fernandez stepped into Jose Mourinho’s shoes when the current Chelsea boss left Porto for his stint at Stamford Bridge.
Punters can witness live on Sky Sports 5 (kick-off is 21:00 UK time) how Moyes’ reign in Spain starts, with Coral making Sociedad 5/4 favourites to win at the Rizaor.
Depor, who because of their proximity to the border, have a number of Portuguese players in their ranks and are 11/5 to inflict a debut defeat on the Scot. A draw comes in at 9/4.
Moyes admitted to nerves ahead of this encounter, but was full of praise for how he has been received in Sociedad. “ve been made incredibly welcome,” he said. “We’ve had a great week and good weather, which I’ve enjoyed.
“I’ve got a lot to learn about the players, San Sebastian and the fans. I have to get to know the players better. I need everybody’s help, all my staff. So many things are new to me but hopefully the big thing is I’ll be able to help the players.
“We can’t train too hard because of games but I’m raising the intensity, speed and tempo – I’d like the ball to be moved quicker but I can’t do all this in three or four days – I need time. I hope in time I will be able to improve them and we can climb the table.”
The two teams are only out of La Liga’s bottom three on goal difference and locked together with three other sides on nine points. Moyes will be boosted by forwards Alfred Finnbogason and Carlos Vela both scoring on starts for their respective countries during the international break.
Iceland striker Finnbogason grabbed a goal against Belgium, while ex-Arsenal attacker Vela bagged a brace for Mexico in a memorable win over the Netherlands, which avenged their World Cup exit to the same opposition this past summer.
With his forward line reinvigorated by such international exploits, Moyes can get Sociedad to build on their shock win over Spanish champions Atletico Madrid. Vela, like fellow forward Imanol Agirretxe, has scored against Depor before for the Basques, so take the 6/4 on offer for the Mexican to net anytime.
Finnbogason, meanwhile, is slightly longer at 7/4, and Agirretxe shorter at 5/4, so the middle ground of Vela looks to be a solid bet. The hosts are not without their own pedigree, however, and it largely comes from that Portuguese contingent alluded to above.
Helder Postiga (remember him Spurs fans?) will likely lead the Depor line here, and is a 13/2 chance to break the deadlock. Fellow Portugal international Ivan Cavaleiro is auditioning his talent for the Coruna club on loan from Benfica, with the wide forward 47/25 in the anytime market.
Down the other flank for Depor should be Barcelona graduate Isaac Cuenca and, with two goals in nine games, he is decent value at 3/1 to grab another in this encounter.
It is stopping this three-pronged attack that Moyes must try to get Sociedad to do. Odds for a shut-out in Galicia by the Basque boys are 33/20, while a win to nil is a 13/5 chance.