With many of the Blaugrana's squad involved in Spain's midweek friendly in Puerto Rico, Phil Kitromilides believes a tight victory for Barca is likelyBarcelona have been handed a straightforward looking start to the new La Liga season, on paper, with a home match against a Real Sociedad side they should beat comfortably.
Yet the history of this fixture over the past couple of seasons has been far from simple for the Catalans, with the last three matches seeing one win for Barca, one win for Sociedad and a draw.
While it may be true that the points dropped by the Blaugrana were away from the Camp Nou, the threat posed by a Sociedad side who have reinforced their front line by signing Carlos Vela on a permanent deal from Arsenal, should not be underestimated.
The bookies however do not envisage any problems for the home side with William Hill pricing a Barcelona win at 1/14 (1.07) while the draw can be backed at 10/1 (11.00) and a victory for the San Sebastian side is offered at 28/1 (29.00).
In reality Barcelona should win the match, yet given the recent history against the Basques plus the fact that many Barca players were involved in an energy-sapping midweek trip to Puerto Rico to play a friendly for the national side, it might not be a victory by a huge margin.
Therefore the price of 16/5 (4.20) for a Barca win and under 2.5 goals looks like an appealing bet, given that Barcelona are notorious for struggling after midweek international matches.
The price is almost suitable for a value bet, yet for some higher odds back a goal-less first half at 9/2 (5.50). If Barca are often lacklustre after internationals, then a tight first half could provide punters with the chance of making some serious profit.
|Barcelona to win and under 2.5 goals at 16/5 (4.20) with William Hill
||Under 0.5 goals first half at 9/2 (5.50) with William Hill|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.