La Liga leaders Barcelona host Real Sociedad on Saturday as they inch their way to another title. Barcelona go into the weekend having defeated Manchester United 3-0 in the Champions League in midweek. Lionel Messi scored twice before Philippe Coutinho added a third.
Real Sociedad sit comfortably in 10th place in La Liga. The club is not in danger of relegation, but they won't trouble other teams in pursuit of a European place either.
Barcelona are undefeated against Real Sociedad in their last seven matches in all competitions with six straight games ending in victory. Barcelona have outscored their rivals 16-7 during that six-game span.
Real Sociedad do not go to Camp Nou in very good form. The Royal have won just once in their last six matches.
Barcelona go into the match at 1/4. Real Sociedad are 12/1 for the victory.
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Lionel Messi was an injury concern for Barcelona's midweek Champions League game against Manchester United. However, the Argentine showed no injury issues scoring two goals against the Red Devils within the first 20 minutes of the game.
Ousmane Dembele returned last weekend to the Barcelona team from injury. He came on as a second-half substitute in midweek.
Manager Ernesto Valverde could rotate his team as he did against Huesca last weekend. The manager sat Messi and Luis Suarez while selecting Dembele to play.
Real Sociedad have several players sidelined with injuries. Adnan Januzaj is one player who is expected to miss out on Saturday due to a knee injury. Defender David Zurutuza could also miss out due to a hamstring issue.
Over 2.5 goals scored @ 4/11 - BET NOW
The result of this fixture will be determined by Valverde's team selection. If Messi and Suarez are left off the pitch, Barcelona could struggle for goals as they did against Huesca. Barcelona continue to show just how dependent on Messi they are to get goals this season.
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Five of the last seven matches between Barcelona and Real Sociedad have ended with both teams scoring. Their previous match this term ended in a 2-1 Barcelona win thanks to goals from Suarez and Dembele.
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Dembele is likely to start for Barcelona against Real Sociedad. Now fully fit, Valverde will give the Frenchman the chance to shine against Real Sociedad. Dembele found the back of the net against Real Sociedad in their last game as he tallied the winner.
Valverde could be influenced to rotate the team and rest his stars. If he does, it will give several players the chance to showcase what they can do just in time for the end of the season run-in.
Barcelona are flying high in La Liga as they sit nine points ahead of second-place Atletico Madrid. They can afford to take their foot off the accelerator this weekend having conquered Manchester United in midweek. Even without Messi and/or Suarez, Barcelona should have no difficulty getting a result.
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