Camp Nou, Barcelona
Saturday 9th May, 2015, 18:00 CET
FC Barcelona, the most in-form team in the world at the moment, hosts resurgent Real Sociedad at Camp Nou today as Luis Enriquea s men look eager to take another step forward in their quest for a treble.
The Blaugrana are firing on all cylinders at the moment and their Wednesdaya s emphatic victory over Bayern Munich was proof of their quality. The trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar is in devastating form and they would be keen to take the revenge of the defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad at Anoeta in January.
Meanwhile, David Moyes managed Real Rociedad are safe from the relegation zone now but they must now look to secure at least a point at Camp Nou to keep their hopes of respectable La Liga finish alive.
Team News And Tactics
FC Barcelona were badly struggling for form when these two sides met each other in January. But now, the picture looks totally different, with the Catalans looking much improved in all departments of the game.
The Blaugrana are in such a devastating form at the moment that they are ruthlessly beating all their opponents nowadays. Their win over Bayern Munich in the midweek was another vintage performance from MSN and coach Luis Enrique would be hoping for a similar performance from his players again today.
FC Barcelona have scored 189 goals this season and of those, 111 have come from the trio of Messi, Suarez, Neymar. This trio is consistently giving brilliant performances for Blaugrana nowadays and it would not come as a surprise if they brush aside the defence of Real Sociedad at Camp Nou today.
Luis Enrique was reluctant to use similar combination in his midfield earlier in the season. But now, it appears that he has found his preferred trio as Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta has become the regular starters for FC Barcelona now.
Defence was the biggest headache of FC Barcelona until this season. But, here also, Luis Enrique has worked his magic as his defenders have started performing well on a regular basis.
On the injury front, the only concern is Jeremy Mathieu for FC Barcelona. The Frenchman failed to attend the training camp on Friday. Otherwise, the coach has fully fit squad available to his disposal.
But, considering the important game against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Luis Enrique might give a chance to some of his regular substitutes, like Sergi Roberto, Marc Bartra, Martin Montoya or Pedro against Real Sociedad today.
Meanwhile, Andres Iniesta has asked his team-mates to avoid complicacy against Real Sociedad.
“We shouldn’t start thinking that nobody can beat us,” Iniesta said.
“We have to keep doing this. If we stop, there are other very good teams and when you least expect it, they can beat you.”
Of Messi’s heroics against Bayern, he added: “Leo Messi does things that nobody else does. We are lucky to be able to enjoy having him – I take my hat off to him once again. He makes us happy.”
Predicted Starting XI (4-3-3): Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Suarez, Neymar, Messi
When David Moyes was appointed as the coach of Real Sociedad in November, the La Real were languishing at the 19th spot in La Liga.
But it appears that Moyes has worked his magic over Real Sociedad as they are safe from the relegation zone now. The biggest achievement of the Scot so far is La Reala s victory over FC Barcelona in January. However, it now appears that this loss worked as a wake-up call for the Blaugrana as they have shown continuous improvements ever since.
David Moyes will have to work-out on a plan to stop Leo Messi as the striker is looking in devastating form. But, the Scot accepted in his press conference that it is impossible to stop Messi.
“No-one can defend against Messi,a said Moyes.
a He may have the odd off day, but hea s one of the best players of all times. Teams try and stop him, but he carries on, makes no fuss. I admire Messi for what he represents, his fantastic football and the fact that he doesna t dive or fake injury, things that repulse me in the world of football”.
Meanwhile, David Moyes has confirmed that midfielder Sergio Canales would make the trip to FC Barcelona. The coach dropped Canales for a personal reasonsa for a game against Levante but he will play against Blaugrana today.
Predicted Starting XI (4-4-2): Rulli; Zaldua, Martinez, Gonzalez, Berchiche; Bergara, Pardo, Granero, Prieto; Vela, Finnbogason
FC Barcelona 3-0 Real Sociedad
Looking at the midweek performance of FC Barcelona against Bayern Munich, it looks highly unlikely for Real Sociedad to even secure a draw at Camp Nou, provided, of course, that Blaugrana dona t suffer from a complicacy today. The target ahead of David Moyes should be to keep the score line at a respectable level.
Player To Wathout For Leo Messi
Leo Messi single handedly changed the result of a game on Wednesday and a clash against Real Sociedad offers him a good opportunity to continue his great run of form.
Blast From The Past
Watch vintage performance from Messi and co. against Real Sociedad in 2010: