Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Prediction: Barcelona vs Real Sociedad

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 9 May 2024

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Luckster

In what could prove to be an action-packed La Liga showdown on Monday night, Barcelona will welcome Real Sociedad to Catalonia.

Barcelona

Starting with the hosts, officially relinquishing their La Liga crown last week, Barcelona are simply looking to sign off the 2023/24 campaign with some kind of flurry. However, suffering an infamous Champions League collapse in Catalonia on April 16th as they were hit with a 4-1 drumming at home against French giants PSG, Xavi’s men have come under plenty of recent scrutiny. Last seen putting in another worrying performance as they fell to an action-packed 4-2 defeat against Girona, Barcelona have lost three of their previous four appearances across all competitions. Despite signing off April with a 4-2 victory against Valencia, the now-former Spanish champions have continued to show some glaring defensive struggles. Including a 3-2 loss at the hands of arch-rivals Real Madrid, Monday’s hosts have recorded just a sole clean sheet from their last six straight outings.

Team News

Barcelona have already confirmed that midfield talisman Gavi will not feature over the final fortnight after undergoing knee surgery. Now missing consecutive La Liga appearances after suffering from a recent ankle issue, Dutch international Frankie de Jong faces a late fitness test on Monday night.

Bagging a consolation strike away at Girona last week and now recorded four goals in his back-to-back La Liga appearances, Polish icon Robert Lewandowski will spearhead Xavi’s charge here. Recording four goals since returning from March’s international break, ex-Leeds star Raphinha should be handed a full recall.

Real Sociedad

As for the visitors, although Real Sociedad might have fallen short in their bid to punch another famous Champions League ticket this season, Imanol Alguacil’s men have once again gained plenty of plaudits. Last seen putting in a rugged performance on home soil as they secured a 2-0 victory at home against Las Palmas, the Basque-based outfit have officially secured another European adventure for next year. Despite signing off April with a close-fought 1-0 defeat against newly-crowned Spanish champions Real Madrid, that is the only loss that they have suffered from their previous seven domestic appearances. Looking to make a heavyweight statement here, Sociedad will be excited by their most recent trip to Catalonia. Claiming a stunning 2-1 win when they travelled to the Now Camp last season, some in Alguacil’s camp will be smelling the chance to spring another upset.

Team News

All still dealing with respective long-term injury issues, Real Sociedad will once again be without the likes of Carlos Fernandez, Martin Merquelanz and Aihen Munoz on Monday night. Likewise, suffering from a recent thigh issue, Arsenal loanee and Scotland international Kieran Tierney is not expected to feature here.

However, after serving a one-match suspension against Las Palmas last week, 27-year-old Igor Zudeldia could make a full return in Catalonia. Despite notching just a single strike since the end of February, Mikel Oyarzabal will spearhead Alguacil’s charge.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Barcelona and Real Madrid met for their reverse La Liga showdown on November 4th, Monday’s hosts picked up a 1-0 victory at the Reale Arena.
    • However, La Real claimed a famous 2-1 victory when they travelled to Catalonia last season.
    • Including a 4-2 defeat against Girona last weekend, Barcelona have lost three of their previous four appearances across all competitions.
    • For of Sociedad’s last five La Liga matchups away from the Reale Arena have finished with both teams finding the net.
    • Polish record-breaker Robert Lewandowski has recorded four goals in his back-to-back La Liga appearances.

    Conclusion

    Eventually suffering a major collapse away at Girona last weekend as they suffered a 4-2 defeat against their local rivals, Barcelona will be bracing themselves for another real challenge here. Losing three of their previous four appearances across all competitions and showing some extended issues at the back, Real Sociedad will certainly be excited by their most recent trip to Catalonia. Landing a 2-1 win when the two sides met at the Nou Camp last season, neutrals could be treated to another enjoyable affair on Monday night.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 4/5

    Bookmaker: Luckster

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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