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Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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      • (40') Lamine Yamal
      • (93') Raphinha (PG)
        • (51') İ. Gündoğan
        • (94') Raphinha
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        • (57') J. Aramburu
        • (64') Jon Pacheco
        • (92') Mikel Oyarzabal

            Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

            As La Liga winds down for another season, the focus shifts to the fixture between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad, set to take place this Sunday. The match holds significant importance for both clubs, albeit for different reasons, encapsulating their contrasting campaigns and aspirations.

            Date: 13/05/2024

            Kick-off time: 20:00

            Location: Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys

            Barcelona, under the management of club legend Xavi Hernandez, find themselves in an unusual position. Third in the league standings with 73 points from 34 matches, they are far from the glory typically associated with this Catalan powerhouse. This season, the team's performance has been broadly viewed as underwhelming, compounded by the fact that they will conclude the year without any silverware.

            The disappointment was further accentuated last weekend when their arch-rivals, Real Madrid, clinched the La Liga title with a substantial lead, marking a stark contrast to Barcelona's own fortunes. Despite having a squad replete with talent, including emerging stars from their famed La Masia academy, Barcelona's season has been marred by inconsistency and lacklustre performances.

            Financial difficulties have continued to loom large over the club in recent years and will do for the foreseeable future, and that's now led to concerns about Real Madrid's potential dominance of Spanish football in the coming years, despite the young talents that have emerged through Barcelona's La Masia academy in recent seasons.

            In a surprising turn of events earlier this season, it was announced that Xavi would be departing from his managerial role in light of a poor run of results and performances. However, for one reason or another, this decision has now been reversed in a kind of knee-jerk, temperamental decision that shows Barcelona are not the smoothly run operation that their rivals in the capital currently are.

            Conversely, Real Sociedad, led by Imanol Alguacil, have enjoyed a reasonably stable campaign. Positioned sixth with 54 points, they have somewhat managed to maintain the momentum from their previous season's commendable fourth-place finish, albeit with some noticeable dips in form, particularly post-Christmas.

            The Basque club's first half of the season painted a picture of a team capable of challenging the upper echelons of the league. However, their performance waned as the season progressed, raising questions about their depth and consistency. Despite this, Real Sociedad remain in contention for at least a spot in the qualifiers for next season's UEFA Europa Conference League, a testament to their resilience and strategic planning.

            Their position, while relatively secure, is not guaranteed. With Real Betis trailing by just five points and having a game in hand, the pressure is palpable for La Real to consolidate their standing in the league's top six.

            Historically, Barcelona have had the upper hand in encounters with Real Sociedad, winning four of their last five meetings. The dominance is even more pronounced when considering the broader history, with Sociedad managing only one win in their last 19 clashes. This statistic will undoubtedly weigh on the minds of the players and coaching staff as they prepare for Sunday's fixture.

            From a tactical perspective, Barcelona might lean on their young talents, who have been bright spots in an otherwise gloomy season. Players like Lamine Yamal and Pedri have shown that they can influence games, and their energy and creativity will be crucial against a solid Sociedad defence.

            Imanol Alguacil's Real Sociedad will likely employ an adventurous approach, focusing on taking the game to Barcelona while utilising the width of the pitch as much as possible through the likes of Mikel Oyarzabal, Sheraldo Becker and Álvaro Odriozola. Given Barcelona's vulnerabilities this season, Sociedad might find success in courageousness.

            The implications of this match are significant for both teams. For Barcelona, it is about salvaging pride and ending the season on a high note, possibly securing a second-place finish to build on for the next campaign. For Real Sociedad, it is about securing European football for the next season, which would represent a successful outcome given the competitive nature of the league.


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            Draw @ 11/4
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            Both Teams To Score

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            Real Sociedad To Win Either Half

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            Real Sociedad To Win Either Half @ 13/8
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            Team News

            Barcelona Team News:

            Gavi and Alejandro Balde are both continuing their recovery from long-term injuries and will be unavailable here, while Frenkie de Jong is uncertain to feature again for the club this season due to an ankle injury picked up against Real Madrid.

            Changes here are likely following the game against Girona at the weekend, with the likes of Pedri and Raphinha both pushing for recalls to the starting lineup.

            Real Sociedad Team News:

            Aihen Munoz, Kieran Tierney, Hamari Traore, Martin Merquelanz and Carlos Fernandez are all likely to miss out once again for the visitors, but Igor Zubeldia will be available for selection after serving a suspension last time out.

            We aren't likely to see many changes here following the game against Las Palmas at the weekend.

            Form Guide

            Barcelona's form is not convincing as they enter this game having won two and lost three of their last five games. On Saturday afternoon, Barcelona made the short trip across Catalonia to face then 3rd-place Girona, and Xavi's side were resoundingly put to the sword in a 4-2 defeat that saw Girona both leapfrog Barça in the league table and complete a league double over them. It was a pretty sorry defeat for a Barça side that probably should have won the game, but Girona substitute Portu proved decisive with two goals and an assist off the bench to flip the game on its head and expose Barcelona's frailty, an issue that's been present for months now.

            Prior to that, a Robert Lewandowski hat-trick and a Fermín Lopez goal saw Xavi's side beat Valencia 4-2, a result that followed a painful 3-2 defeat at the Bernebéu in El Classico where Jude Bellingham netted the winner in stoppage-time.

            Other results in Barcelona's last five games include a 1-4 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and a 1-0 win over Cádiz.

            Real Sociedad's form has been up and down in recent weeks as they enter this game with two wins, two draws and one loss from their last five games. At the weekend, La Real cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Las Palmas, courtesy of an own goal on top of a strike from Sheraldo Becker. That result followed a narrow 0-1 defeat to champions Real Madrid.

            Successive draws preceded the aforementioned results as Sociedad were held to a 1-1 scoreline by Getafe and a 2-2 draw by Almeria, where Ander Barrenetxea, Becker and Mikel Oyarzabal got their names on the scoresheet. Prior to that came a 1-0 win over Alavés via a Jon Pacheco goal.

            Footy Accumulators Prediction

            Barcelona's season is now done and dusted and it's ended in fairly miserable fashion. The mood around the club cannot be positive given their fierce rivals are chasing a league and Champions League double, so the home crowd is unlikely to be a raucous one. Sociedad have a lot to play for here and Barcelona are leaking goals like it's going out of fashion so we expect a high-scoring encounter here, and one that the away side will take a result from. Barcelona 2-2 Real Sociedad.

            Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

            Header logoPrimera División

            Team logoReal Madrid
            Team logoBarcelona
            Team logoGirona
            Last updated 24/05/2024

            Header logoPrimera División

            Team logoAthletic Club
            Team logoReal Sociedad
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            Last updated 24/05/2024