Match preview: FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad

Match preview: FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad

Ernesto Valverde's team face three league games in eights days and the first is the visit of the 'txuri-urdin' to Camp Nou on Saturday (kick off 8.45pm CEST)

A busy week of three games in the space of eight days awaits FC Barcelona, as the LaLiga season reaches its decisive stage. First up for the Blaugrana is a Saturday encounter with Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou on Matchday 33, as they defend a 9-point lead over Atlético Madrid. The game comes in the wake of a successful European encounter with Manchester United, whom they beat 4-0 on aggregate to make their way through to the Champions League semifinals.

How to follow the game live

The game kicks off at 8:45pm CEST. A list of broadcasters can be found here, along with the starting times where you are.

Messi's perfect 10 against Real Sociedad

Lionel Messi has found the net 10 times in 10 meetings with Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou in all competitions. The Argentine is also closing in on another milestone for the club: That of 600 goals in a Barça shirt. He is currently on 597.

A tricky first meeting at Anoeta

FC Barcelona took the three points home from Anoeta when they last played Real Sociedad, in a game held on Matchday 4 of the season, back in September of last year.  Aritz Elustondo scored early on for the Basque side, but two rapid-fire goals from Luis Suárez and Ousmane Dembélé just past the hour mark earned Barça the victory. Suárez has played a part in eight  goals in eight LaLiga games against Saturday's opponents, with a quartet of goals and assists.

The opposition

Top LaLiga goalscorer: Mikel Oyarzabal (12)
Coach: Imanol Alguacil
Former Barça players in the squad: Sandro Ramiréz
Current LaLiga Form:
#1 Barça W W W D W D
#10 Real Sociedad L D D W L D

Match Stats

FC Barcelona are unbeaten in 20 LaLiga games, holding the longest such active streak in the top flight. Real Sociedad have only won three away games against Barcelona in 71 visits to the Catalan capital, drawing 7 and losing 61. The txuri-urdin's last win at the Camp Nou was back in May of 1991.

One eye on the title

The gap at the top of the LaLiga table was reduced from 11 points to 9 after Barça drew against Huesca last weekend. Title rivals Atlético Madrid also meet a Basque team on Matchday 33: They play Eibar away from home in Saturday's 4:15pm CEST kickoff.

The squad

Ernesto Valverde named his 18 man squad  on Friday for the game against Real Sociedad. Thomas Vermaelen and Rafinha are still out through injury and there is no room for Todibo, Murillo and Boateng. Full details of the squad here

Coaches' view

Imanol Aguacil: "If you go to Camp Nou with a defeatist attitude than you have had it. We are going there with belief even though we know it will be very difficult." 

Ernesto Valverde: "There are 9 points on offer this week and those are the points we need to be champions." 



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