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Barcelona vs Real Sociedad, La Liga: Team News, Match Preview

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Ronald Koeman’s men face a crunch match in La Liga

Lionel Messi (R) of FC Barcelona smiles during the UEFA... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

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

How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA), Premier Player (UK), Movistar+ (Spain), 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.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

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.


PREDICTION

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.