Real Sociedad (11th, 4pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 9pts)
Competition/Round: 2018-19 La Liga, Matchday 4
Barcelona Outs and Doubts: Malcom, Denis Suarez, Sergi Samper, Arthur, Carles Aleñá (out)
Real Sociedad Outs and Doubts: Adnan Januzaj, Diego Llorente, Martín Merquelanz, Sandro Ramírez (out), Willian José, Raúl Navas (doubt)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 15, 2018, 4.15pm CET (Barcelona), 3.15pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 10.15am ET, 7.15am PT (USA), 7.45pm IST (India)
Venue: Estadio de Anoeta, San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Eleven Sports (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), others
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!!! The international break is finally over after 237 days, and Barcelona finally get to play once again. The Champions League starts next Tuesday and we’re all excited about that, but Barça still have to play a really tough La Liga match when they travel to the Basque Country to face Real Sociedad.
Traveling to the Anoeta was a guaranteed loss for the last 10 years, but Barça have won their last two visits and will be the first team to face Sociedad in the New Anoeta. The stadium was renovated and looks spectacular, and regardless of the result we should expect a great game. Barça have the confidence to play away to Sociedad again, and Sociedad will look to make a great debut in their new home.
Ernesto Valverde is expected to rotate his squad just a little bit ahead of the first European match, but Lionel Messi did not play for Argentina and has had two full weeks of rest. So expect the best player in the world to make a big impact and turn the infamous Anoeta Curse into a really fun road trip.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé
Sociedad (4-3-3): Rulli; Zaldúa, Elustondo, Moreno, Theo; Merino, Illarramendi, Zubeldia; Oyarzabal, Bautista, Juanmi
It’s impossible to expect another 8-2 win here, but I’m confident in the team and I really think a rested Messi could be insanely deadly: 2-0 Barça. Not a boring 2-0, by the way.