FC Barcelona (8th, 17 points) vs Real Sociedad (1st, 26 points) *
* Points and locations at the time of writing
Competition / Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 14
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembélé
Real Sociedad Outs & Doubts: Aritz Elustondo, Mikel Oyarzabal, David Silva
Appointment: Wednesday December 16, 2020, 21:00 CET / WAT (Barcelona and Nigeria), 20:00 GMT (UK), 15:00 ET, 12:00 PT (USA), 01:30 IST (India, Monday)
Place: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA and Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not available (India), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA), Premier Player (UK), Movistar+ (Spain), others
First, Renato is on vacation for a few days so unfortunately you will have to put up with me for this ….
Anyway, let’s get started. Barca are back in action on Wednesday in La Liga against top-ranked Real Sociedad at the largest stadium on earth.
Ronald Koeman’s men got past the Levante last time around, which should provide some momentum and confidence and they’ll likely need everything they can muster to take all three points off Real Sociedad.
In the same game last season it was a late penalty from Lionel Messi that proved the difference between the two teams. However, Imanol Alguacil’s men could arrive with a little more confidence this time around given their good start to the season and Barca’s disappointing form.
Yet injuries to key players could help Barcelona a little. Aritz Elustondo, Mikel Oyarzabal and David Silva may all lose, while it is worth noting that Real Sociedad have become the draw specialist in recent weeks.
Madrid have held up quite impressively in their last six games in all competitions, with their last La Liga win coming to newly promoted Cadiz in November. Obviously it’s more than Barça could handle, Ronald Koeman’s side were beaten 2-1 in Andalucia.
Again this is a game that Barca cannot really afford to lose points if they are to have any chance to fight for the title. In fact, a win would push them within six points of Real Sociedad, with two games in hand. Huge incentive, if needed, for Koeman and his men to put on a show.
Let’s do it.
Barcelona (4-2-3-1): Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Messi, Griezmann, Pedri; Braithwaite
Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Remiro; Gorosabel, Le Normand, Sagnan, Monreal; Merino, Zubimendi; Portu, Lopez, Janzuaj; Jose.
This is tough, but a win could do a lot for Barca. The comforts of home mean I go 2-1 to the hosts.