Real Sociedad VS Barcelona Prediction
Inspired by four wins in a row and keeping a clean sheet in three of them, Real Sociedad welcomes Barcelona on Sunday evening, 27 November 2016, when both sides will wrap up weekend La Liga schedule. Of course, round 13 will be ended with its Monday night clash facing Las Palmas against Athletic Bilbao, but Sunday’s schedule attracts serious attention, mostly with game at the “Anoeta”. Moreover, distance between Real Sociedad and Barcelona is only 4 points and visitors from Catalonia must chase a mandatory win here, especially after the 2-1 victory of their rivals Real Madrid over Sporting Gijon, marked by a brace for Cristiano Ronaldo. This increased gap between Real Madrid and Barcelona to 7 points and Luis Enrique’s men simply cannot afford another wrong step here.
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona – Team News and Match Preview
The hosts from San Sebastian have won maximum out of their last four La Liga encounters, picking up 12 points against Deportivo Alaves (3-0), Leganes (2-0), Atletico Madrid (2-0) and Sporting Gijon (3-1). Really solid record for squad led by former midfielder, assistant coach and coach of Barcelona’s B team Eusebio Sacristán. In fact, Barcelona still seeks first victory at the “Anoeta” since that 0-2 success from May 2007, when Frank Rijkaard’s side won there after two goals of Andres Iniesta and Samuel Eto’o. Well, guess who was Rijkaard’s assistant during his spell on “Camp Nou” – exactly Eusebio Sacristán.
Since then Real Sociedad have been really tough opposition and “Anoeta” remains an impregnable fortress for the Blaugrana. That strong home record which Real Sociedad holds against Barcelona contains 5 wins and 2 draws, apparently making San Sebastian worst possible destination for Barca in the last decade.
Barcelona failed to score in its past two visits here and Luis Enrique should seriously think and work on that. His side returns at the domestic La Liga stage after a midweek Champions League commitment in Scotland, but we cannot compare their clash against Celtic, which has been easily won 0-2 (two goals from Messi), with the upcoming visit to the most inhospitable venue for Barcelona nowadays.
The victory from Sevilla (1-2 vs Sevilla) right before last international break can be a good sign, but it has been quickly forgotten as a result of that goalless home draw against Malaga last weekend.
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will be back into Barca’s starting XI, as they both have missed game against Malaga (Suarez was suspended, Messi due to illness), but now they look eager to switch to a higher shift in competition with Real Madrid. Even Sevilla can replace Barcelona from the second position, only if they win against Valencia on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, Luis Enrique remains without injured Samuel Umtiti and Andrés Iniesta, so he’ll most likely use same formation as in Scotland.
Real Sociedad is keen to slip Barcelona once again and team from The Basque country should start with same XI used against Sporting Gijon last week.
Central midfielders Rubén Pardo and Markel Bergara are still injured, but presence of players like David Zurutuza, Xabi Prieto, Asier Illarramendi secures one really stable starting trio in that zone.
Carlos Vela and Mikel Oyarzabal are expected to operate through the wings, while goal scorer Willian Jose (6 goals) should be on top of Real Sociedad’s 4-3-3 formation, which can also transform to a 4-2-3-1. Xabi Prieto can play as an attacking midfielder, while Zurutuza and Illarramendi are responsible with more defensive functions.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
After last two low-scoring affairs between both clubs here (two 1-0 wins for Real Sociedad), we expect more that game and our recommend suggests betting for “Both teams to score and Over 2.5 Goals“.
Venue: “Estadio Municipal de Anoeta”, San Sebastian.
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano.
Possible starting lineups of Real Sociedad and Barcelona
Real Sociedad: Geronimo Rulli – Yuri Berchiche, Iñigo Martínez, Raul Navas, Carlos Martínez – David Zurutuza, Asier Illarramendi, Xabi Prieto – Mikel Oyarzabal, Carlos Vela, Willian Jose. (4-3-3)
FC Barcelona: Marc-André ter Stegen – Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba – Andre Gomes, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic – Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez. (4-3-3)