|Real Sociedad vs Barça Match Preview | Image: FCB
FC Barcelona are on a quest to break a curse when they take on Basque outfit Real Sociedad on Sunday night at the Anoeta stadium, a place where they’ve failed to win in all competitions since 2007.
After failing to pick up all three points against Málaga last season, Barça have found themselves 7 points behind Real Madrid at the top of the table following Zidane’s men’s 2-1 win over Sporting Gijón on Saturday evening. This means Barça cannot afford to leave the Anoeta without getting the three points, one they must achieve by any means possible.
Real Sociedad are in great form led by former Barça player Eusebio Sacristán, winning four consecutive league games that have pushed them to fifth on the table, only four points behind Barcelona. Barça have been more inconsistent and are currently third on the log still behind Sevilla who beat Valencia 2-1 at the Sánchez Pizjuán.
Barça will be delighted to welcome back the likes of Andrés Iniesta, Samuel Umtiti and Jérémy Mathieu to light training but all three players didn’t travel and won’t take part in the game as they weren’t given the medical greenlight to feature in Luis Enrique’s 18-man squad for the game
Arda Turan also picked up a flu prior to the game and will sit out the encounter while Aleix Vidal was given permission to leave the team for personal reasons. This means only 17 first team players are available for selection and Jordi Masip didn’t make the squad so Marlon Santos and Carlés Aleña from the B team filled in.
The good news is that star defender Gérard Piqué is fully fit to feature despite missing training on Friday while Lionel Messi and Luís Suárez are back in the side after missing out against Málaga.
For the hosts, Markel Bergara, Ruben Pardo and Gastañaga are out through injuries, but none of these players are particularly star ones.
REAL SOCIEDAD VS BARÇA
Date: Sunday, 27 November, 2016
Time: 8:45pm CET
Venue: Anoeta, San Sebastián, Spain
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
PREVIOUS FIVE MEETINGS
Real Sociedad 1-0 Barcelona
Barcelona 4-0 Real Sociedad
Barcelona 2-0 Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad 1-0 Barcelona
Real Sociedad 3-1 Barcelona
Real Sociedad: LLWWWW
FC Barcelona: WWLWDW
Predicted Real Sociedad Lineup: Gerónimo Rulli; Carlos Martínez, Raul Navas, Íñigo Martínez, Yuri Berchiche; Xabi Prieto, Asier Illarramendi, Zurutuza; Carlos Vela, Willian Jose, Oyarzabal.
Predicted Barcelona Lineup: Marc André Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Iván Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, André Gomes; Lionel Messi, Luís Suárez, Neymar.
BarcaLens Prediction: It always has been a tough game at the Anoeta and this won’t be an exception. Most of the time Barça always miss a lot of chances, they have lost all of their last four Liga away games vs Sociedad and with the team knowing a loss would mean they’d be 7 points behind, an extra motivation can be bet on and with Messi in great scoring form, the curse will be broken – Real Sociedad 0-2 Barcelona.