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The Spanish title race is already shaping up to be a truly intense battle to the finish and, with just one week to go until the Clasico, the country’s two biggest sides will be determined to register important wins this week.
Those sentiments are especially true for Barcelona, who enter the weekend four points adrift of leaders Real Madrid. However, a trip to Anoeta might not be an easy Sunday evening challenge for the Blaugrana.
With the action live with Bet365 streaming Sunday from 7:45PM, you do not want to miss out.
Sociedad Enjoying Great Season
Eusebio Sacristan’s Sociedad have been one of the surprise packages in the early parts of 2016-17 and a run of four straight victories has seen them climb to fifth in the table before the weekend’s action. Astonishingly, a win on Sunday night would see them move just one point below the illustrious opponents.
Sociedad can be optimistic after losing just one of six home games this season. Moreover, the goals of Willian Jose and Carlos Vela should give them hope of capitalising on a defence that hasn’t always looked as comfortable as expected in recent weeks.
Erreala have been equally impressive at the back, conceding just one in their last four. While Barcelona’s attacking trio will cause problems for any defence, the absence of Andres Iniesta could give the home side an additional source of confidence heading into this key battle.
The hosts will be under no illusion and know that they must bring their A game if they are to cause an upset here. On their day, though, they could give the visitors a challenge.
Barcelona Need To Perform
Last weekend’s home draw with Malaga has left Barcelona in desperate need of a win heading into the Clasico but, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez back to accompany Neymar, they should be extremely confident.
Luis Enrique’s men eased to a 2-0 Champions League win at Celtic, and will be looking for a similarly comfortable evening on Sunday. Having said that, this has been a bogey ground for the Blaugrana in recent times with Sociedad winning the corresponding fixture in each of the last three seasons.
That’s something that the visitors cannot allow to happen again, and they’ll be looking to Gerard Pique and co. to keep things simple and comfortable at the back. If they can do that, they’ll have every chance of returning to Catalonia with the three points.
More importantly, it will give them the necessary momentum heading into a crucial stage of the Liga title race. Whatever happens, it should be a cracker.
Real Sociedad v Barcelona Betting
Even with home advantage on their side, Sociedad are 11/2 outsiders with Bet365. Conversely, Barcelona are priced at 9/20 while the draw is available at 7/2.
Espanyol have been in exceptional form and also hold a great home record against Barcelona. Meanwhile, the away side’s midweek fixture could give the hosts a great opportunity to score.
Nonetheless, there is no doubt that it’s Barcelona who should be favourites to win this, even if the hosts do find the target.
If the Blaugrana do perform as they can, there is no question that Messi will have a massive role. Having scored four in his last three, including two at Celtic, the No.10 should be confident to say the least.
Scoring a couple of goals would be the perfect preparation for the Clasico too, and that’s exactly what we’re backing the magician to do.