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Primera División

  • 19 January 2013
  • • 17:00
  • • Estadio Municipal de Anoeta, Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 28855
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Real Sociedad-Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana look to return to winning ways

Real Sociedad-Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana look to return to winning ways

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The Catalans will hope to extend their record-breaking Liga run against Philippe Montanier's side after they were held at home by Malaga in the Copa del Rey in midweek

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

REAL SOCIEDAD

Bravo
Estrada, Gonzalez, I Martinez, De La Bella
Illarramendi, Pardo
Vela, Prieto, Griezmann
Ifran
BARCELONA

Valdes
Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Iniesta


Real Sociedad have a full squad to choose from for Saturday's Primera Division encounter against Barcelona at Anoeta.

Defenders Inigo Martinez, Mikel Gonzalez and Dani Estrada all return after missing the 1-1 draw at home to Deportivo La Coruna through suspension.

Barcelona are assessing striker David Villa, who is struggling with a hamstring strain.

Marc Muniesa and Isaac Cuenca have returned to training after lengthy spells on the sidelines with knee injuries, but the duo will not be involved on Saturday.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Real Sociedad have won just two of their last seven matches in La Liga (W2, D4, L1).
  • The Basque outfit have lost seven of their last nine meetings with Barcelona.
  • Sociedad are on a six-match unbeaten run at Anoeta in all competitions (W2, D4).
  • Barcelona are on a 12-game winning run in La Liga. They have won their last four matches with an aggregate score of 14-3.
  • The Blaugrana's Liga tally of 55 points from 19 matches betters the previous best for the halfway stage of the season, which they set at 52 points in 2010-11.
  • Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has scored 10 goals in his last seven matches for Barca across all competitions.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Claudio BravoGoalkeeper
2Carlos Martínez DíezDefender
3Mikel González MartínezDefender
6Íñigo MartínezDefender
24Alberto De la Bella Defender
5Markel BergaraMidfielder
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
10Xabi PrietoMidfielder
18Chory CastroMidfielder
27Antoine GriezmannStriker
11Carlos VelaStriker
13ZubikaraiGoalkeeper
-José ÁngelDefender
22Dani EstradaMidfielder
4Gorka Gorka Elustondo UrkiolaMidfielder
14Rubén PardoMidfielder
9Imanol AgirretxeStriker
21Diego IfránStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
3PiquéDefender
5Carles PuyolDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
10Lionel MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
21AdrianoDefender
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
37TelloStriker
Players to Watch
Carlos Vela
Carlos Vela
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The former Arsenal prodigy has been a revelation at Anoeta this season, netting eight Liga goals playing predominantly as a winger. Vela's pace and trickery on the right flank could pose problems for Barcelona, whose fluid attacking style inevitably leaves them open to counterattacks.
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With 28 Liga goals this campaign, the Argentine is way out ahead in the race to finish top of the goalscoring charts and is well on course to surpass last season's tally of 50. Messi will look to keep up his form in front of goal with several key matches coming up in the next few weeks.
Prediction
Barcelona will look to produce a convincing performance to build momentum ahead of a crucial Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg against Malaga. Sociedad have the pace to trouble the visitors but could struggle to contain them at the opposite end.
Editor's Prediction

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