Last season, Tito Vilanova and FC Barcelona started the season in style, coasting to a 5-1 victory in the opening fixture of the 2012/13 La Liga. By the end of the season, the Blaugrana had amassed a record-equalling 100 points, barely wavering from that intense points-setting pace they debuted with against their Basque Country visitors. While tonight Barcelona are entertaining Real Sociedad after five La Liga matches, they can once again send a message to the rest of the league -- and indeed the chasing pack -- that they are still the team to beat.
A comfortable victory would not only move Barcelona temporarily clear of Atletico Madrid, who kick-off at home to Osasuna immediately after the conclusion of Barca's clash with Sociedad, but it would also ease the nerves of some Cules, who are less than sold on their team's recent performances. Yes, Barcelona are winning and winning comfortably, but they're not at their glittering best either.
Think back to the best performances under Guardiola: the Manita against Real Madrid, the demolition of Arsenal, even last season's victory against AC Milan under Tito Vilanova; that was the "real" Barcelona, pressing high-up the field, not giving the opposition an inch to make their mark. As Inder said, change is the only constant, but is it for the better?
I guess we might find out tonight -- if Barcelona defeat Real Sociedad, chances are that this "change" will be well-received. Lose or draw? Well, that's a whole different story...
Predict the score of tonight's match by commenting with your score prediction below, best of luck!
More from Barca Blaugranes:
- FC Barcelona: Change Is The Only Constant
- La Liga: FC Barcelona vs Real Sociedad: Match Preview
- FC Barcelona News: 23 September 2013; Preparations Begin for Real Sociedad Game, Martino's Barça Make Historic Start
- La Liga: FC Barcelona 4-0 Rayo Vallecano: Player Ratings
- FC Barcelona News: 22 September 2013; Barça Lose Possession Battle After 317 Games, Win Against Rayo Vallecano