FC Barcelona (8th, 17pts) vs Real Sociedad (1st, 26pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 14
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembélé
Real Sociedad Outs & Doubts: Aritz Elustondo, Mikel Oyarzabal, David Silva
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
First things first, Renato’s away on holiday for a few days so unfortunately you’ll have to put up with me for this one....
Anyway, let’s begin. Barca are back in action in La Liga on Wednesday against table-topping Real Sociedad at the Greatest Stadium on Earth.
Ronald Koeman’s men edged past Levante last time out which should provide a bit of momentum and confidence and they’ll probably need everything they can muster to take all three points off Real Sociedad.
In this same fixture last season it was a late Lionel Messi penalty that proved the difference between the two sides. However, Imanol Alguacil’s men may arrive with a bit more belief this time around given their strong start to the season and Barca’s disappointing form.
Yet injuries to key players could help Barcelona out a little. Aritz Elustondo, Mikel Oyarzabal and David Silva could all miss out, while it’s worth noting that Real Sociedad have become draw specialists in recent weeks.
La Real have rather impressively been held in their last six matches in all competitions, with their last La Liga win coming at newly-promoted Cadiz back in November. Of course that’s more than Barca could manage, Ronald Koeman’s side were beaten 2-1 in Andalucia.
Once again this is a game Barca really can’t afford to drop points in if they are to have any chance at all of battling for the title. Indeed a win would move them to within six points of Real Sociedad, with two games in hand. Huge incentive, if any were needed, for Koeman and his men to put on a show.
Let’s do this.
Barcelona (4-2-3-1): Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Messi, Griezmann, Pedri; Braithwaite
Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Remiro; Gorosabel, Le Normand, Sagnan, Monreal; Merino, Zubimendi; Portu, Lopez, Janzuaj; Jose.
This is a tough one but a win could go a long way for Barca. Home comforts mean I’m going 2-1 to the hosts.