Real Sociedad vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Thursday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as two European contenders meet.
|Thursday 21st April 2022
|21:30 (local time)
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona Preview
Real Sociedad and Barcelona meet in the most eye-catching fixture on matchday 33. It will have an impact on just how the battle for Champions League qualification takes shape too over the coming weeks. La Real are currently 5 points shy of their opponents but could thrust themselves back into top four contention with victory here.
Imanol’s side have to fancy their chances here in a fixture that Real Sociedad enjoyed for a number of years, although Barcelona have got over their Anoeta hoodoo in recent times with some good results in Donostia of late.
La Real come into this game on a remarkable run of home clean sheets with no goals conceded in their last 7 league games in front of their own fans. Not since Villarreal’s victory here in December has an opposing team scored in LaLiga.
The long-term injury absence of Mikel Oyarzabal has perhaps helped direct Imanol towards a slightly more cautious approach and it has delivered an upturn in their fortunes. Igor Zubeldia has nudged ahead of Aritz Elustondo in the central defensive pecking order while the midfield has looked solid with Martín Zubimendi playing the anchor role and Mikel Merino and Rafinha operating either side. Imanol will need to tweak something here though with David Silva suspended following his late red card in the goalless Friday night draw with Betis.
Xavi Hernandez will also be doing plenty of head scratching after a really poor week or so for Barcelona which has seen them lose twice at Camp Nou – against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League and Cadiz in LaLiga. Any lingering hopes of silverware this season are gone as a result and they must now focus on getting over the line and securing Champions League qualification.
The 1-0 defeat to Cadiz was particularly poor but Barcelona should at least be boosted by the return of centre-backs Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo for this game which ought to improve matters at the back. If nothing else, this is a test of character for a youthful Barcelona side that had been flying throughout the opening months of 2022.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Barcelona Wins, 2 Draws.
- Barcelona were 4-2 winners when the sides met at Camp Nou earlier this term.
- They were 6-1 victors on this ground last term in one of their best showings under Ronald Koeman.
- The Catalans are unbeaten in 13 overall against La Real, winning 11.
|Oyarzabal, Monreal, Barrenetxea
|Pedri, Umtiti, Sergi Roberto
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: Real Sociedad 0-0 Barcelona
This is a tough game to call and much may depend on the kind of reaction Xavi manages to get from this Barcelona side after two poor results. Real Sociedad are looking solid once more and their outstanding home defensive record of late suggests they may be able to thwart Barcelona’s attack. However with no David Silva and no Oyarzabal, they may struggle to create much themselves and this game may not quite live up to its billing as the game of the week in LaLiga.
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