Paul Murray´s Match Preview / Barcelona – Real Sociedad

Paul Murray´s Match Preview / Barcelona – Real Sociedad

Match Day 13 – Match Preview- Saturday 28th November 2015

Barcelona v Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad put the David Moyes era firmly behind them last weekend as they made a winning start under new boss Eusebio Sacristan against Sevilla. Imanol Agirretxe and Xabi Prieto scored in the second half to give the Basque team their first win at Anoeta this season.

In a bold move Eusebio dropped Carlos Vela for the Sevilla match which hopefully may wake him up a bit.  Vela has shown little interest and commitment so far this season and the new manager stamped his authority onto the team with this confident and unexpected selection.  Using the analogy that “you don’t change a winning team” Vela may struggle to win his place back in the near future.  Today La Reala will miss the suspended Asier Illarramendi and Jonathas, Zurutuza and Joseba Zaldua remain injured.

For me the most pleasing aspect of the victory against Sevilla was the home debut of 18 year old Mikel Oyarzabal.  With the game scoreless Eusebio introduced him for the final 30 minutes, replacing the ineffectual Bruma, and his arrival changed the dynamic of the team.  Bruma had achieved nothing again and is looking very lightweight but Oyarzabal’s enthusiasm and positive attitude encouraged Real to increase the tempo of the match.  He always wanted the ball and his direct approach unsettled the opposition who dropped back to to the edge of their penalty area in an attempt to grind out a point.  But it was not to be and Real scored twice in the 73rd minute (Agirretxe) and again in the 78th minute (Prieto) to record their first home win of the season.

Eusebio’s second match in charge sees him returning to familiar territory at the Camp Nou stadium.  He has spent most of the best years (so far) of his career there as a player and later as coach of the Barcelona B team.  Now he has a chance to test himself against them in La Liga with his new Basque charges.  However with the form currently being displayed by the home team so far this season,  tomorrow is likely to prove a much sterner test for him than his debut home fixture.

Barca are in fantastic form and have already opened up a four-point lead at the top of La Liga and qualified for the Champions League knockout stages as Group E winners.  They put Real Madrid to the sword last weekend, chalking up a 0-4 away victory and followed this up midweek in the Champions League with a 6-1 victory over Roma.  So no problem for Real Sociedad there then !!


History is also not with us. Real travel to the Catalan capital bringing with them a miserable La Liga record there. The last time we even managed to get a draw there was back in the 1994-95 season. We have lost on the last 17 consecutive visits, so I doubt that betting on an away victory is likely to prove a worthwhile investment.

I believe that if we can manage not to concede a goal early then we might have a chance of keeping the score down.  That is likely to be as good as it will get for the visitors.  The best plan maybe to pay the coach driver to get lost on the way to the stadium, arrive too late to play and accept the 3-0 defeat that the League would hand out as a punishment!!

I am flying to Barcelona tomorrow morning to attend this match,  but think that I may need to watch it with from behind my seat instead of sitting in it.

However you just never know……. Aupa Real !!

Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match.

Barcelona win 1/14, Draw 12/1 and Real Sociedad to win 22/1

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