Barcelona vs Real Sociedad predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as the Catalans play their first game since winning the title.
|Date||Saturday 20th May 2023|
Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Preview
Barcelona are back at Camp Nou and hoping to make it a party atmosphere as they celebrate the title won on enemy territory at Espanyol last weekend. Their celebrations were abruptly cut short on the pitch at the RCDE Stadium by a pitch invasion from angry home supporters but they’ll have more time to enjoy it here, although only after what could be a tough game against 4th placed Real Sociedad.
It hasn’t always been brilliant football from Xavi’s team this season but they did play really well last weekend, sweeping Espanyol aside with four goals inside an hour. There were numerous standout performances with Pedri looking brighter as he regains full fitness while Alejandro Balde was exceptional on the left flank with a goal and an assist inside 20 minutes.
Robert Lewandowski also bagged a brace with a slight defensive collapse in the final half hour the only thing souring the showing, much to the annoyance of record-chasing Marc-André ter Stegen in goal. Xavi must decide whether to go with his strongest eleven again here or whether to give some fringe players minutes now the title has been won. With three more games after this, the opportunity will certainly come to do that, but he may well elect to go strong again here against a very competitive Real Sociedad side.
La Real are bidding to end a miserable sequence of results on this ground with just one point gathered in more than 30 years here. The omens may be good for them though in one respect as their last win at Camp Nou did come after Barcelona had already clinched the title in May 1991. If they can repeat the trick here, they really would have one foot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
They are 5 points clear of 5th placed Villarreal heading into this matchday so there is still clearly a bit of work to be done, particularly with a tough run-in which also sees them travel to Atletico Madrid and host in-form Sevilla. They missed a good opportunity to push themselves further clear last weekend, letting a two goal advantage slip to only draw at home to Girona.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Ter Stegen – Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde – De Jong, Busquets, Pedri – Dembele, Lewandowski, Raphinha (4-3-3)
|DOUBTFUL||Sadiq, Brais Mendez|
Possible XI: Remiro – Aihen, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Gorosabel – Zubimendi, Merino, Silva – Oyarzabal, Sorloth, Kubo (4-3-3)
Coach: Imanol Alguacil
Score Prediction: Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad
While it’s possible that a bit of complacency may creep into Barcelona’s game now they’ve won the title, that may be more likely in the coming matches. They’ll want to properly celebrate the title at home with their fans and it seems likely that Xavi will field a strong team as they seek to do that. Real Sociedad have an awful record here and haven’t been great in recent away games in general, so a home win looks likely.
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