Barcelona vs Real Sociedad: Preview and Prediction

Xavi Hernandez’s Barcelona could reclaim the second spot in La Liga with a win over sixth-placed Real Sociedad on Monday.

With just a few more games left in the 2023/24 season, Real Sociedad are fighting to stay in the top-six as they look to secure European football for next season and will square up against Barcelona, who slipped down to the third following their defeat to Girona last weekend.

Barcelona have 73 points in their 34 outings, and they are just two points behind second-placed Girona with a game in hand. The Catalan giants can reclaim the second spot with a win in this fixture as Girona dropped points in their latest outing against Alaves.

Xavi’s team suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Girona in their last outing, and they will be eager to bounce back. With UEFA Champions League football already secured, they do not really have much to play for. But the Blaugrana will be eager to end the season on a high, and a second-place finish will surely be a good way to end the 2023/24 season.

Meanwhile, Real Sociedad are currently sixth on the points table with 54 points in their 34 outings. They are closely followed by Real Betis, who have 52 points in their 34 outings. Ls Real cannot afford to drop points in the last two outings as it could see they fall out of the top six.

Real Sociedad’s three-match winless run came to an end in their last outing as they defeated Las Palmas 2-0. It was a decent performance that saw them come out on top. But this time around, the opposition is a lot stronger and things won’t be easy by any means. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics


Xavi Hernandez will be without the services of three first-team players: Gavi, Alejandro Balde, and Frenkie de Jong. He is expected to make only a few changes to the XI that started in their last outings.

The home side will stick to the 4-3-3 with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will continue as the full-backs for the home team, while Pau Cubarsi and Ronald Araujo will pair up in the heart of the defence.

Andreas Christensen should feature as the defensive midfielder, while Pedri and Ilkay Gundogan are expected to be in his support. They will look to control the tempo of this game and ensure they have the majority of the ball. Lamine Yamal and Raphinha will most likely be the winger, with Robert Lewandowski leading the line for Barcelona against Real Sociedad.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Cubarsi, Cancelo; Gundogan, Christensen, Pedri; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Predicted XI

Real Sociedad

The visitors will be without the services of Igor Zubeldia, Martin Zubimendi, Kieran Tierney, and Carlos Fernandez. Meanwhile, the availability of Hamari Traore and Aihen Munoz is a doubt,

Despite not having a full-strength team available, they are expected to push for a positive result here. Real Sociedad will also line up in a 4-3-3, with Alex Remiro in goal. Alvaro Odriozola and Javi Galan will be the full-backs, while Robin Le Normand and Jon Pacheco will feature in the heart of the defence.

Brais Mendez will feature as the defensive midfielder, with Mikel Merino and Benat Turrientes in his support. They will look to ensure the Catalan giants’ midfielders do not end up dominating the proceedings. Takefusa Kubo and Mikel Oyarzabal will feature on the flanks, and they will look to provide width to their attacks, while Sheraldo Becker will be leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Remiro; Odriozola, Le Normand, Pacheco, Galan; Benat, Mendez, Merino; Oyarzabal, Becker, Kubo

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • The reverse fixture between Real Sociedad and Barcelona ended 1-0 in favour of Xavi’s team.
  • Real Sociedad won the away game against Barcelona 2-1 last season.
  • Real Sociedad have only won one out of their last four league games.
  • Barcelona have lost more games at their temporary home (3) this season than away (2).
  • Real Sociedad have the fourth-best away record in the league with 27 points from their 17 away games.

Player to Watch


Embed from Getty Images

The Brazilian international has racked up less than 1,800 minutes of first-team football across his 35 outings this season. But, the former Leeds United talisman still has nine goals and 12 assists to his name.

Raphinha has been a standout performer for Barcelona in the second half of the season, and he will look to add to his tally. While his future has been uncertain of late, the 27-year-old will be focused on the task at hand.


Barcelona 2-1 Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad still have a lot to play for, and they need to ensure they do not drop points in the two remaining games of the season as they are involved in an intense race for a place in the top six. La Real are heading into this one on the back of a crucial win and will be confident about their chances.

Barcelona might be heading into this fixture on the back of a defeat. But they have a lot of quality in their ranks and one would expect them to return to winning ways here. With Real Sociedad not at full strength for this outing, they might not be able to get the job done. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for the home team.

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