Real Sociedad pull plug on pre-season friendly against Liverpool at Anfield
La Real coach Asier Garitano felt that the proposed summer friendly was too close to the new season curtainraiser against Alavés.
Little by little, details of Real Sociedad's pre-season plans are starting to emerge. Asier Garitano's squad are due to report back from their summer holidays on Thursday 5 July and will spend the first couple of weeks training in Zubieta before holding a summer stage in the final week of the month. The location of the summer stage has yet to be finalized but it is possible that the squad will travel to Holland - as they have done in recent seasons and Garitano has already sounded out accomodation and training facilities in the Netherlands. The Basque side have made the Dutch town of Ermelo their temporary summer base for three of the last four pre-seasons and have felt comfortable holding their stage there.
Classic summer friendly against Basque rivals
But after that, pre-season friendlies are still being arranged. It's likely that the team will play a friendly at Stadium Gal in Irun, either against Real Unión or a French side. The club is also keen to hold another friendly within the Gipuzkoa province against a local team from a lower league, as they have done in recent years. There will also be a meeting with Alavés at some point, although the date and venue have yet to be decided. The Txuri-urdin have also staged friendly matches in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in recent pre-seasons.
What we do know is that Real Sociedad won't be playing a friendly against Champions League finalists Liverpool at Anfield this summer. Garitano turned down the possibility of pitting his players against Jürgen Klopp's side because the proposed date offered by the Merseysiders was too close to when La Real intend to play Alavés. The coach would rather not expose his team on such a big stage and run the risk of a demoralizing defeat in a crucial moment before the 2018/19 LaLiga season gets underway. It's a shame, as the realistas will have to wait until a new chance arises for them to play as a stadium where they were last guests 43 years ago. Liverpool meanwhile have most of their summer accounted for with friendlies against Borussia Dortmund, both of the Manchester team and Napoli.