Preview and Prediction
The real test for Real Sociedad really begins in December and this game shall mark their bumpy road ahead. David Silva and Co did manage to return to the top despite failing to win in their previous outing. However, their next opponent still has Messi in it, which surely will put them in a great danger, should they look down on Blaugrana. The Catalan side may still be stuck on the eighth with nine points behind them. However, they are more experienced in going through the crucial stage as now than themselves.
Both teams’ previous games
Barcelona picked up a narrow win on the weekend over Levante. The winning goal was scored by no other than their messiah, Lionel Messi after taking advantage of Frankie de Jong’s assist. Their defence was still in need of improving as they could have conceded if Levante’s finish had been more clinical.
Real Sociedad, on the other hand, could only muster a 1-1 draw while hosting Eibar. Ander Barrenextea gave them the lead on the 20th minute but was then denied as the visitor found an equaliser by Sergi Enrich’s goal.
Ronald Koeman’s 4-2-3-1 seems to be in need of modification, either to the regular 4-3-3 or 4-6-0. Messi is likely to be more well-suited as the false nine than the winger while Phillipe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann could be featuring behind him or on the wide areas. In the midfield, Frankie de Jong shall be accompanied by Miralem Pjanic and Carles Alena or Riqui Puig, who Koeman needs to consider start selecting them in the line up due to Sergio Busquets’s degrading form. Blaugrana is still without Ousmane Dembele,
Imanol Alguacil is likely to deploy 4-2-3-1 with the possible transition to 4-3-3. Unfortunately, one of his key men, Mikel Oyarzabal is sidelined alongside Luca Sangalli, Asier Illaramendi, Miguel Moya and Aritz Estulondo. Therefore, Portu and Adnan Januzaj are likely to get a nod in the starting IX to support the targetman William Jose, while in the midfield, the former Manchester City man, David Silva will be the anchor of their attack.
Players to watch
Barcelona still relies on Messi. His contribution is still inevitably high this season with eight goals and two assists in all competitions. Another notable name to watch is surely the Dutch man Frankie De Jong.
Meanwhile, Sociedad’s top performers apart from Oyarzabal are Mikel Merino who has bagged one goal and provided two assists, David Silva and Portu who has netted four goals and made two assists.
Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Prediction
Ronald Koeman is still searching for the best tactics to optimise his team and this clash could be the first stage of his real test next year. If Messi and Co could find the balance soon then a victory should be easier to seal, including in this fixture.
The home side seems to be the favourite here, despite the position in the standings. Barcelona is priced to win at 4/6, whereas the Alguacil’s men’s win market is only at 21/5. The draw result is at the value of at 18/5.