Real Sociedad vs Barcelona by Neuro
Real Sociedad didn't manage to get all three points in the last game they played, when the team visited Levante and had a 1:0 lead till the third minute of additional time. Visitors took the lead early in the second half with a goal from Canales in 48th, but got equalized in a bit unlucky way and a goal from penalty spot in 93rd minute when Ivanschitz was precise.
However, it has to be said that it was quite a boring game, with both teams playing defensively mostly, not trying to risk a lot and attack during the game - thus, neither of them actually deserved all three points. This was third game with no defeat for Sociedad, team that slipped to fourteenth position, just two points above the relegation zone. At home they are doing significantly better, having earned eleven in comparison to only four points away from home. No doubt that tonight's game comes with an extra motive for them, as nobody expects the team actually to pick any point here. Esteban Granero returns from injury and is expected to start. On the other side, midfielder David Zurutuza (10/2), right back Zaldua (11/0) and forward Imanol Agirretxe (12/2) are sidelined with injuries. Forward Carlos Vela (15/6) and central defender Gorka Elustondo (7/0) are doubtful for tonight's game.
Barcelona finished last year with impressive 5:0 home victory over Cordoba. Visitors were completely outplayed in every aspect, start from second minute when Pedro brought the hosts into lead, while four more goals were scored in the repetition. Suarez opened the scoreline in second half in 53rd minute, while Pique added third in 80th, just to see Messi scoring two in last eight minutes of the match.
With this victory, Barcelona remained close to leaders from Real Madrid, being just one point below them. Their last game on the road ended as a goalless draw against Getafe and the team will be fired up to make the things correct this time, even though they haven't win in last five matches away to Sociedad. Contraversy surrounded their club during Christmas break, as TAS confirmed Barcelona's ban on transfer movements for one year, but that shouldn't affect the players on the field. Dani Alves is fit again and will start, while Rafinha (11/0) remains sidelined with injury. Central defender Thomas Vermaelen injury saga continues and the player probably won't be available in next couple of months as well.
Barcelona is a favorite to get the victory here, but Sociedad should be a very tough nut to crack this time. Barca isn't playing in a really impressive way away from home and sometimes have problems scoring, which could leave a lot of space for Sociedad to surprise and if not take a point, then at least represent themselves as a very quality opponent.