Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Real Sociedad

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La Liga Season 2021/22 kicks off this weekend for FC Barcelona 

FC Barcelona, Griezmann, Pedri
Griezmann and Pedri in FC Barcelona training

FC Barcelona will kick off their La Liga campaign with a game against Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on Sunday at 8:PM CET.

This will be their first competitive game in the post-Messi era, a massive task for Ronald Koeman. Everyone is curious to see what surprises, FC Barcelona will bring to the league this season with the squad that they have. 

Last season, the Catalans finished in the third spot, behind the Madrid duo of champions Atletico de Madrid and second-placed Real Madrid. Real Sociedad finished fifth securing a spot in the Europa League this season. 

FC Barcelona is finding it hard to register players in the league due to the wage cap. They still haven’t been able to reach an agreement with the senior players for a wage cut that will help the club financially.

No one has agreed to a pay cut as of now. The club just managed to register Emerson Royal since he was already registered as a player who came back from his loan spell at Betis.

The club has just registered Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Rey Manaj.  Sergio Aguero will be registered later since he’s ruled out to play until November.

The club has until five minutes before the game against Sociedad to register any player(s), and is pushing to do so. How will these off-the-pitch issues affect the club’s performance on the pitch remains to be seen.

The visitors have played five friendlies this season, winning against Eibar, Alaves, and Monaco. They’ve lost to AZ and Osasuna, losing 3-1 to the latter. Real Sociedad finished fifth in La Liga last season, their highest finish since 2012-13.

They were 15 points behind fourth-place Sevilla, but a massive record of 17 wins, 11 draws and 10 defeats got them 62 points, a point clear of sixth-place Real Betis. They’ve also signed Diego Rico and Mathew Ryan.

TEAM NEWS

FC Barcelona

Ousmane Dembele, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Oscar Mingueza and Ansu Fati are out due to injuries. 

Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay have been registered and Sergio Aguero is not yet registered in La Liga, and the Argentine is injured as well. 

Yusuf Demir is expected to start due to an impressive pre-season, and lack of options in attack. 

Pedri will start on the bench as his minutes will be managed this season. 

Clement Lenglet and Frenkie de Jong won’t be risked as they’re still coming back from injuries. 

The team is expected to play in a 4-3-3 formation. 

Real Sociedad

Nacho Monreal, Carlos Fernandez and Ryan will not be available for the game. 

Mikel Oyarzabal, Mikel Merino and Martin Zubimendi will be starting the game. 

Alexander Isak is doubtful to play, but it’s still not clear. 

The team will play in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

EXPECTED LINEUPS

FC Barcelona

Neto; Dest, Pique, Araujo, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, Pedri; Memphis, Braithwaite, Griezmann

Real Sociedad

Remiro; Gorosabel, Elustondo, Le Normand, Zaldua; Zubimendi, Merino; Portu, D Silva, Oyarzabal; Isak

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