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Match Preview: Real Sociedad v Barcelona

Home » Match Preview: Real Sociedad v Barcelona

Saturday sees Real Sociedad take on Barcelona in a top of the table clash in La Liga, in a fixture that has traditionally posed problems for the Catalan giants.

Real Sociedad v Barcelona – La Liga

Venue: The Reale Arena

Date: 14/12/19

Kick Off: 15:00

TV Channel: N/A

Barcelona travel to Sociedad fresh from a 2-1 win over Inter Milan, in which Ernesto Valverde was able to given opportunities to a number of fringe players. A late winner from wonder-kid Ansu Fati gave them the win, after Romelu Lukaku had cancelled out Carles Perez’s first half opener.

Barcelona sit top of La Liga on goal difference, but it hasn’t been plain sailing for Valverde’s side this season, with three defeats already, and a number of tight victories, which may worry him heading into this game. Outperforming their expected goals by 12.94, there is a question as to how long they can continue being so clinical in front of goal, however with the talented strike force they possess, it is no surprise to see this being the case.

Four wins on the bounce following a disappointing defeat against Levante is exactly what Barcelona required, and if they perform at the level they achieved against Mallorca last weekend, the signs are ominous for Sociedad. An outstanding individual display from Frenkie De Jong stood out, as Barcelona coasted to a 5-2 victory, however the defensive concerns will encourage Sociedad, who possess one of the brightest, young squads in La Liga.

Sociedad sit fourth in La Liga after a bright start to the season, and their side possesses a number of talents to keep a watchful eye on. Marten Odegaard has been the stand out performer, with four assists and three goals, whilst Barcelona will have to be aware of the threat that Willian Jose and Mikel Oyarzabal pose up front, with seven and five goals respectively. Defensively they are open, conceding eighteen goals this season, and it would be no surprise to see an open, exciting game on Saturday afternoon.

A disappointing 0-0 draw with Valladolid last time out didn’t paint the whole picture, as they proved to be wasteful in front of goal, racking up an xG of 1.87. Sociedad will be keen to close the gap to leaders Barcelona, who may have one eye on Wednesday’s El Classico, as the title race starts to gain traction.

Team News:

Real Sociedad are without Ruben Pardo, Asier Illaramendi and David Zurutuza through injury, whilst Robin Le Normand is suspended.

Barcelona are expected to be missing Ousmane Dembele, Arthur, Jordi Alba and Nelson Semedo with injuries.

Head to Head:

Real Sociedad Wins – 8

Draws – 10

Barcelona Wins – 32

Match Stats:

At no other ground have Barcelona lost more away games that at Real Sociedad in the 21st Century

Barcelona have won nine of their last 10 La Liga games, averaging 2.9 goals per game

Lionel Messi has 13 goals in 19 appearances against Sociedad

Team Form:

Real Sociedad Last 5: W D L W D

Barcelona Last 5: L W W W W

Suggested Bets:

With two exciting attacks clashing on Saturday afternoon, it is hard to ignore the goal markets for this clash. Both defences have shown frailities throughout the season, and the two sides have shared 67 goals between them this season in La Liga. As a result, it is hard to oppose Over 2.5 goals, despite the fact both sides are outperforming their expected goals.

With Lionel Messi understandably an odds on shot, there are other appealing options in the goalscoring markets. A hat trick last time for the Argentine will leave him full of confidence, however both Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez netted last time out, and it is the Uruguayan attacker who appeals at 7/5. With and xG of 0.63 per 90, and six goals this season, he is getting his fair share of chances, and as ever, he is proving he is in top form to consistently take them.

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