FC Barcelona travel away on Sunday night to play the definition of a bogey team: Real Sociedad. The fixture has been rather unique in La Liga and history certainly favours the home side. Barcelona haven’t won at Anoeta since 2007 with Sociedad coming out victorious in five of the eight meetings.
This time around, it’s difficult to bet against Sociedad again. Eusebio Sacristán’s men have won four in a row and would go just one point behind Barcelona with a win and the goals are now coming for strikers Carlos Vela and Willian Jose. Further subplot is added to the match with the fact that Sacristán is a former assistant at Camp Nou.
FC Barcelona are fresh off a win in the Champions League. Lionel Messi inspired his team to a 2-0 victory over Celtic in midweek but the La Liga champions are hardly on exceptional form. Three wins in six matches has cost Luis Enrique’s men in the title race. Barcelona haven’t been top since the opening day of the season and are now four points behind rivals Real Madrid with the first el Clasico of the season just a week away.
On the injury front for Sociedad, Joseba Zaldua and Markel Bergara will both sit out and midfielder Ruben Pardo could join them once again as he continues to struggle with a muscular injury. For FC Barcelona, there’s slightly better news. Gerard Pique made his long-awaited return to action to action last week and played another half against Celtic in midweek. Samuel Umtiti, Jeremy Mathieu and Andres Iniesta are expected to miss the trip to Sociedad but all are three are closing in on a return.
Barcelona are the odds-on favourites for the match but things will undoubtedly be difficult. The current offers from Betfair are 1/2 for a Barca win and a generous 11/2 for Sociedad to come out triumphant. The away team has failed to score in the last four matches between these two teams so 6/5 for both teams to fail to find the net is a decent option.
In terms of goalscorers, it’s difficult to look past the MSN if you’re backing the visitors but if not then there are some options for Sociedad. Willian Jose and Carlos Vela are always a threat but midfielder Xabi Prieto has three in his last four games but is a tempting 4/1 to score anytime.