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Barcelona vs Real Sociedad, La Liga: Team News, Preview, Lineups, Score Prediction

FC Barcelona (3rd, 73pts) vs Real Sociedad (6th, 54pts)*

*Standings at the time of writing on Sunday

Competition/Round: 2023-24 La Liga, Matchday 35

Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, Alejandro Balde (out)

Real Sociedad Outs & Doubts: Aihen Muñoz, Carlos Fernández, Igor Zubeldia, Kieran Tierney, Martin Zubimendi (out)

Date/Time: Monday, May 13, 2024, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Tuesday)

Venue: Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, Montjuïc, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández

VAR: Mario Melero López

How to watch on TV: ESPN Deportes (USA), Premier Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar (Spain), TSN 3 (Canada), others

How to watch online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK), Movistar+ (Spain), others

Following a damaging defeat to Girona in last week’s Catalan derby and a full eight-day layoff, Barcelona are back in action for their penultimate home game of the season as the Blaugrana welcome old rivals Real Sociedad for a crucial La Liga clash at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium on Monday Night Fútbol.

Barça come into this one looking to rebound from yet another painful defeat in a big game, which knocked them down to third place in the table and put them in serious jeopardy of missing out on a reported extra €10 million in prize money for finishing second and guaranteeing a spot in next year’s Spanish Super Cup.

But Girona’s slip-up away to Deportivo Alavés on Friday was a huge relief, and gives Barça the chance to once again control their own destiny in the race to end the season as league runners-up. Barça cannot finish equal on points with Girona if they want to secure second spot, but winning their remaining four games will be enough for the Blaugrana to finish ahead of their local rivals in the table.

It’s actually really, really, really sad that Barcelona’s season has come down to a battle with Girona for second place and 10 million euros, but that is the unfortunate reality the club is in. Fans are rightly upset, frustrated and not very excited about next season considering the ongoing financial issues and Xavi Hernández staying on as manager, but no one said this rebuild was going to be easy.

It might take a while to get the house in order, but Barça will bounce back eventually. Until then, we have to roll with the punches and accept that finishing second is as good as it gets this season and will be important for the club’s summer plans to turn things around next term.

The four games in the last 14 days of the season are crucial, and the first is undoubtedly the toughest: Real Sociedad are a historically brutal opponent for Barça, and despite their inconsistent season they are still too talented, too tough and too well-coached to be counted out.

They come to Montjuïc in desperate need of a result to fend off Real Betis as the two battle it out for a spot in Europe next season, and Imanol Alguacil’s side would get a massive boost from an upset in the Catalan capital. They are missing some key pieces in defense and midfield due to injury, but there’s more than enough quality in the available players to cause Barça all kinds of problems.

The Blaugrana cannot afford another slip-up having been given a second chance to finish ahead of Girona, and they must rediscover the form shown before the disasters against PSG and Real Madrid. Barça usually do well at home against La Real, and three points are all that matters in the next fortnight.

Good football and excitement can wait until next season. Barça have one job to do: win.

Let’s dance.


Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Cubarsí, Cancelo; Gündogan, Christensen, Pedri; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Remiro; Odriozola, Le Normand, Pacheco, Galán; Turrientes, Merino; Kubo, Méndez, Becker; Oyarzabal


Barça are usually successful in home games against La Real, and considering the players missing for the visitors I’ll bet on the good guys even in their current form: 2-1 Barça.

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