Ace Football previews the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona, and offers the latest stats, tips, and team news.
Barcelona take a trip to San Sebastian on Sunday night to face Real Sociedad hoping to pile more pressure on La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.
The two sides may be separated by a 14-point gap in the league table, but they’re only two spots apart. Barcelona are ahead in third-place and in the thick of the title race, while Real Sociedad sit in a solid fifth.
It should be a close affair between two clubs that have scored twice each from a direct free-kick this season. La Real are tough to beat at home, but an in-form Lionel Messi and Barca could have the last laugh.
Real Sociedad Form & Stats
A 1-0 defeat to Granada last weekend snapped the Basque club out of a seven-match unbeaten run. Hopes of a top-four finish, and Champions League qualification, are now in serious doubt. As things stand, La Real must overcome a 10-point gap to fourth-placed side Sevilla in the final 11 matches of the season.
Nonetheless, it’s been another solid campaign. Imanol Alguacil’s men can qualify for the Europa League again, but they’ve still been somewhat underwhelming at home. Only six wins have come out of a possible 13 (D5 L2), in fact. Barcelona have also beaten them twice in the last three league meetings (D1) at Anoeta.
Alexander Isak, meanwhile, has impressed once more this season. The Swedish forward has scored an average of 0.35 goals-per-game for La Real since he joined the club in 2019 from Borussia Dortmund and could be their biggest threat.
Key Team Stats
- Won their last 3 home league games.
- Only lost 1 of their last 8 league games (W4 D3).
- Under 2.5 goals scored in their last 3 home league games.
- Winless in their last 9 league games against Barcelona (D2 L7).
FC Barcelona Form & Stats
Ronald Koeman’s side arrives off the back of a solid 4-1 win over Huesca. Lionel Messi was on target twice, taking his tally in 2021 up to 17 goals and six assists in only 18 games. The captain has also made 21 goal involvements across his 22 appearances against Real Sociedad in La Liga (14 goals, 7 assists).
Barcelona, meanwhile, are on an eight-match winning run away from home. The visitors have kept six clean sheets and scored 17 goals. They’re even unbeaten in their previous five away league games against Basque clubs (W3 D2).
The 26-time La Liga champions have the league’s third-best overall record on the road and will be fired up by the prospect of gaining more ground on Atletico Madrid in the title race.
Key Team Stats
- Won 12 of their last 13 league games (D1).
- Won their last 8 away league games.
- Kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 8 away league games.
- Scored at least 2 goals in 10 of their last 11 league games.
- Unbeaten in their last 5 away league games against Basque teams (W3 D2).
- Lionel Messi has managed 14 goals and 7 assists in 22 league appearances against Real Sociedad.
Out: Luca Sangalli, Miguel Angel Moya, Joseba Zaldua, Aritz Elustondo.
Doubts: Nacho Monreal, David Silva, Martín Zubimendi, Carlos Fernandez.
Out: Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Goalscorers in La Liga
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in La Liga.
* DC: X2 – Double Chance on Away Team (Barcelona)