FC Barcelona (La Liga) vs Real Sociedad (La Liga)
Competition/Round: 2022-23 Copa del Rey, Quarterfinals
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: None
Real Sociedad Outs & Doubts: David Silva, Mikel Merino, Ander Guevara, Andoni Gorosabel, Álex Sola, Jon Pacheco, Martín Merquelanz, Umar Sadiq, Momo Cho (out), Mikel Oyarzabal (doubt)
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Spotify Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
VAR: José María Sánchez Martínez
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA, Canada, UK, India), Startimes World Football (Nigeria), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
Following a hard-fought win over Getafe at the weekend to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the La Liga table, Barcelona return to action as they welcome Real Sociedad for a massive Copa del Rey quarterfinal with a spot in the Final Four on the line.
Barça extended their unbeaten run in January and got three big points against Getafe but the performance left a lot to be desired, and the Blaugrana must play better going forward. Xavi Hernández himself made that clear after Sunday’s game, and the coach will be hoping for a better performance on Wednesday.
And a much better performance will be needed to get a win against this Sociedad team. They are third in the league table and are playing fantastic football right now, with a very tough defense and a quick, incisive attack that takes advantage of high pressing to create big chances. This is a complete team that plays very well in all phases, and despite all their injuries they are still very dangerous.
Martin Zubimendi is Xavi’s number one target to replace Sergio Busquets, and Barça fans will have a chance to watch one of the most talented young players in Spain showcase all of his talents at Camp Nou.
This will be legitimately tough, and extra-time is more than possible with these two teams. Sociedad won’t be afraid of Barça, and this should be a very open match from start to finish. Expect a classic Cup tie full of entertainment, good football and some very tense moments for Culers.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Gavi, De Jong, Pedri; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Ferran
Real Sociedad (4-3-1-2): Remiro; Elustondo, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Muñoz; Méndez, Illarramendi, Zubimendi; Navarro; Sorloth, Kubo
This will be a very tough battle but Sociedad won’t be the team that parks the bus and gives Barça very little chance to attack in space. I expect an open game with loads of chances and goals, and the home team will move on: 4-2 to the good guys.