Xabi Prieto has acknowledged Real Madrid’s improving form and picked out their speed of attack as a particular facet Real Sociedad must look to counter.
La Real make the trip to the capital on Saturday evening in improved form of late in La Liga, over the last four games picking up more points than their Week 13 opponents.
Even whilst acknowledging this improved mood in the camp, their captain has warned of the dangers that Madrid represent.
“Madrid are one of the best teams in Europe,” Prieto has told reporters this week.
“They are slowly getting better, they are a great team, who scored seven goals in their last home game. We have experience in previous years of doing well and then in a minute conceding three goals.
“But we arrive in a good moment, from the last 12 points we have scored 10 and we want to continue that line.
“We will have recovered from the Champions League match [at home to Manchester United], but of course I am worried about the speed of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
“We will need our best version to stand up to one of the best teams in the world. We must be careful not to lose balls in situations where they can counter.
“I do not see much difference between Madrid under Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti. They are strong at the back and crush you on the counter. And this year Madrid have great speed in attack.”
Prieto notably scored a hat-trick in Real’s last trip out to Madrid and has an unusually good scoring record against Los Blancos.
“I see it as an anecdote. So far I have been good, but we have only managed to win once in the times I have played with Real.”