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Primera División

  • 23 February 2014
  • • 00:30
  • • Estadio Municipal de Anoeta, Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan
  • • Attendance: 30485

Real Sociedad-Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana hoping to end Anoeta hoodoo

Real Sociedad-Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana hoping to end Anoeta hoodoo

The Catalans could be without Jordi Alba through injury as they set about trying to defeat their Basque opponents in San Sebastian for the first time in five games

Beaten Copa del Rey semi-finalists Real Sociedad will have revenge in mind when they host Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday.

Gerardo Martino's side won through to the final of the competition earlier this month thanks to a 3-1 aggregate win over the Basque club.

While Jagoba Arrasate will have been pleased with his side after they managed to hold Barca to a draw at Anoeta in the second leg, the damage had already been done thanks to a Sergio Busquets effort and Enaut Zubikarai's bizarre own-goal in the first game.

The draw may not have been enough to halt Barca's march to the final but it did maintain Sociedad's strong home record against the Spanish champions.

Barca have not won at Anoeta in their last four attempts and lost 3-2 there last season - despite taking a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute.

Gonzalo Castro's double and Imanol Agirretxe's last-minute winner did the damage on that occasion and will give Sociedad hope of producing another shock this weekend.

Despite their poor recent record in San Sebastian, Martino's men have been in fine form this year, tasting defeat just once in all competitions during 2014.

As well as staying firmly in the hunt for the Liga title and moving into the final of the Copa del Rey, Martino's men edged Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

After an impressive 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium, Martino urged his side not to lose momentum.

"We have to remain calm and continue along the same path because there is no time to relax as we must now start thinking about our next game in La Liga," the Argentine said.

"We have clear objectives in each tournament. We can play better or we can play worse than [on Tuesday] but in no way are we going to relax."

Sociedad also have plenty still to play for and, following their Champions League exit in the group stage, can focus fully on qualifying for Europe again next season.

Currently in sixth, Arrasate's side are four points off Athletic Bilbao, who occupy the final Champions League spot, with Sociedad vying to repeat last season's fourth-place finish.

Barca could be without Jordi Alba after the left-back suffered an injury to his right hamstring, while Arrasate has no fresh injury concerns following Monday's 1-0 win over Malaga. 

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Real Sociedad de Fútbol RSO
Real Sociedad de Fútbol Real Sociedad
FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona

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Real Sociedad de Fútbol RSO
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FC Barcelona FCB
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FC Barcelona FCB