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Real Sociedad vs Barcelona – La Liga Preview, Team News & Predicted Line-ups

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The 2020/21 La Liga campaign approaches the crunch period as Barcelona head to Reale Arena to meet Real Sociedad in a must-win fixture.

Facing Basque teams away from home is often a tricky business, but Barca have not lost any of their last five such engagements (W3, D2), alternating a victory with a draw on each occasion.

The Catalans will have to be at their very best to capture all three points, given how unpleasant their trips to Sociedad have been in the past decade.

Real Sociedad Preview

A 1-0 defeat at Granada on Matchday 27 inflicted the first reverse on Sociedad in eight La Liga matches (W4, D3), with six of their last seven games in all competitions now seeing one or both teams fail to score.

Having won their last three La Liga games at Reale Arena, Imanol Alguacil’s men will be looking to post four home league successes in a row for the first time in over a year.

Easier said than done, though, as La Real lost two of their last three top-flight meetings with Barcelona at home (D1), as many as they had in their previous 12 such encounters in the competition (W6, D4).

Sociedad will have to avoid conceding first to keep their hopes of winning alive, knowing they have failed to stage a turnaround in any of the eight La Liga fixtures in which they fell behind this term (D4, L4).

Despite emerging scoring problems, the Basque giants remain one of just five sides in La Liga to hit double digits in terms of the goals netted in both halves at home.

Barcelona Preview

A return of 14 victories from their last 17 La Liga games (D3) has seen Barcelona climb to within four points from table-toppers Atletico Madrid.

Ahead of the kick-off, Ronald Koeman’s men have racked up seven consecutive away league triumphs, six of which were accompanied by a clean sheet.

Adding to their confidence, the Catalan juggernauts have won their previous four La Liga matches by an aggregate score of 11-1, finding the back of the net in both halves in each of the last three.

No team has scored more goals in La Liga than Barca (61) this season, though only 40.98% of those strikes arrived away from home.

Indeed, the current runners-up boast the division’s best average of 2.57 goals scored per home match compared to the 1.92 they managed on the road.

Team News

Real Sociedad

Out: Aritz Elustondo, Nacho Monreal, Martin Zubimendi, Joseba Zaldua, Alex Sola, Luca Sangalli.

Doubts: David Silva.

Barcelona 

Out: Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique.

Doubts: N/A

Predicted Line-ups

Real Sociedad (4-3-3): Alejandro Remiro; Andoni Gorosabel, Igor Zubeldia, Robin Le Normand, Aihen Munoz; Ander Guevara, Asier Illarramendi, Mikel Merino; Adnan Januzaj, Mikel Oyarzabal, Alexander Isak.

Barcelona (3-5-2-1): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong; Sergino Dest, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Jordi Alba; Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele; Antoine Griezmann.