FC Barcelona with their stringent winning form lately, especially in the away games travel to San Sebastián to face Real Sociedad tonight. An interesting fixture to consider after studying the history behind the ‘Anoeta curse’ which thankfully Neymar broke a few years back for us culés. Real Sociedad honestly are no easy opponents. Having placed 5th in the LaLiga points table currently, they have been in resplendent form since the start of the season until they faltered due to injuries at the start of 2021.
With the official squad announced, luckily with no new injuries Koeman’s starting XI might pretty much remain similar to the Huesca game. The formation however might slightly differ in my opinion, according to how the game paces forward. I believe a similar 3-5-2 with a rigid back three of Araújo, Mingueza & Lenglet is a good start to aim for those early goals. Putting Dest & Alba high up the flanks has helped us this season tremendously. And later move to 4-4-2 if the game demands depth in the final (30) minutes. A strong defence irrespective of the formation is a must for the Blaugrana if they look forward to those 3 points tonight.
The midfield with De Jong, Busquets & Pedri sounds accepting but would be interesting to see how Koeman instils confidence into De Jong after studying the risks of playing him tonight. The young dutchman alongside Messi is on a yellow already, so his positioning as well as Leo’s would be something to ponder upon. However, Leo’s form has been phenomenal lately so I absolutely have no doubts that we might get to see a moment of brilliance from him.
Real Sociedad on the other hand, has also been remarkable as well as extremely competitive had they been able to manage their injury issues at the start of 2021. Without David Silva, Nacho Monreal, Joseba Zaldua they are still a threat with the likes of Mikel Oyarzabal upfront & Ander Guevara doing his thing in the midfield. There’s also Alexander Isak who Barça themselves has considered as a transfer target for the upcoming summer window. He’s a threat in 1vs1 situations. The hosts might line-up their usual 4-3-3 against the Blaugrana tonight.
To conclude, a game at the Reale Arena is indeed going to be a super-intensive fixture. But with Barça’s away form lately, I’m hoping for the 3-1 win over La Real tonight.