Both teams are going into the clash fourth in their respective league tables.
This is an opportunity for Roma, last year’s Europa Conference League winners, to take another step towards more silverware.
They will be hoping for a win as they meet La Real for the first time in UEFA competitions.
The Gialorossi are going into the clash after overcoming the stern challenge of RB Salzburg in the knockout round playoffs.
They will now have to prove once more that they are equal to the task as their continental success story continues under Jose Mourinho.
They are also going into this tie following a morale-boosting win over Juventus on Sunday. Gianluca Mancini’s sweet strike from the edge of the area was the only goal of the match, which also earned three precious points in his side’s pursuit of a top-four finish.
This could be said to be a morale boost win for Giallorossi after their promising start in 2023 was halted a few days earlier, when they lost to Serie A’s bottom club Cremonese – who also knocked Mourinho and co out of the Coppa Italia.
Roma also boasts of a good record in UEFA competition. Out of 33 home games, Mourinho’s men have lost just two, winning on 24 occasions.
However, those defeats were against Spanish teams – Real Madrid in 2018 and a 2-1 reverse against Real Betis in this season’s group game.
Having won seven of their last eight matches on home soil, Roma can be confident of setting up a first-leg lead to take to San Sebastian in seven days.
After being eliminated by RB Leipzig in last year’s knockout round playoffs, Real Sociedad have an opportunity to go further in Europe’s second-tier tournament. The closest they have ever gone in their history was as far as the quarter-finals in 1989. Imanol Alguacil’s men need to match that feat by beating Roma over two legs.
Meanwhile, their record against Serie A clubs is not favourable. The Basque club won just one of six competitive meetings with Italian teams.
They will therefore need to build on their superb form in the Europa League’s group stage rather than dwell on that dismal record.
Having topped Group E ahead of Manchester United, La Real won all three of their away fixtures without conceding a single goal, being the only team to achieve this in the competition’s autumn phase.