Barcelona face Real Sociedad this Saturday and the Blaugrana will be needing the three points and a confidence-boosting win to head into El Clasico in strong form. La Reale Arena will host the battle, a ground where the Catalans do not hold fond memories with just two wins out of the previous nine played in San Sebastian. However, Ernesto Valverde’s men are coming off the back of two convincing performances, and the players will be hoping to continue to display their attractive brand of football against an intelligent Real Sociedad side.
Two main keys to take into account for Saturday’s fixture:
1. Target Men Up Top
Gerard Pique and Co. will have to be at their best level when they face Real Sociedad’s lethal frontline. Willian Jose feeds off long balls and the former Girona man Portu is always ready to pounce on any loose balls. Martin Odegaard, arguably one of the best footballers this season, is another player Barcelona must be aware of. The youngster is packed with talent and his excellent long-range shooting could hurt the Catalans if he is given enough space. These three players along with Mikel Oyarzabal lead the pack managed under Imanol Alguacil, and the key will be to prevent the frontline from linking up and playing their game.
2. The Home Fans
Real Sociedad’s home fans always act as the 12th man in games, playing a crucial role in the team’s success at home. And Barcelona’s visit to the Txuri Urdin’s ground will make the crowd even more aggressive. If the reigning LaLiga champions can cancel out the noise from the stands, ignore the pressure and focus like they did against Inter in midweek, then we should expect to see a creative Barca side who never take their foot off the gas until the final whistle.