Barcelona vs Real SociedadLa Liga, KO: 19:00 Aug 15, 2021, Camp Nou
Barcelona face Real Sociedad in a Spanish La Liga fixture at the Camp Nou as they begin life without talisman Lionel Messi. There are many uncertainties around Barcelona this season and while Sociedad have the quality to make things difficult, the Catalans should get the job done.
Barcelona are entering a new La Liga campaign without Lionel Messi for the first time in 20 years. While they have made some acquisitions in the transfer window, the Catalans are likely to miss the influence of the Argentine legend.
Manager Ronald Koeman will be looking to move on from last season’s disappointing campaign where they capitulated in the final weeks and eventually finished third. They made some decent signings this summer following the arrival of Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero, who is out injured.
If preseason is anything to go by, Barcelona might have found a way to get by without Messi following a run of four wins in five warm up matches. The 3-0 win over Juventus in particular is likely to give them plenty of confidence with new signing Memphis Depay getting the opening goal on his first start.
Real Sociedad travel to the Camp Nou off the back of a 3-1 defeat to Osasuna in their final preseason fixture. They failed to build on Willian Jose's second half equaliser and conceded two further goals midway through the second half.
Sociedad finished fifth last season and will be targeting an improvement this term. Imanol Alguacil's men looked unconvincing in preseason and suffered two defeats in their final three warm up matches.
Another problem for Real Sociedad heading into Sunday’s opener is their away form as they have suffered two defeats in their last three La Liga matches on the road. They have also struggled defensively with just one clean sheet in their last eight matches across all competitions.
How the bookies view it
Home form is usually pivotal for Barcelona and given Real Sociedad’s struggles on their travels, I am leaning towards a Barca win.
Head to head
Barcelona have a 36-8 advantage with 11 draws from 55 previous matches against Real Sociedad. They did the double over Sociedad last season, claiming a 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou before running out 6-1 winners in the reverse fixture.
Players to watch
With Lionel Messi gone, Antoine Griezmann is expected to take on more responsibility for Barcelona having scored five goals in his last eight La Liga matches. The French striker is priced at 6/5 by Vbet to score anytime while Memphis Depay could be worth a punt in the same market at 11/10 with bet365 following his goal against Juventus.
Swedish striker Alexander Isak burst onto the limelight last season with 17 La Liga goals and is priced at 6/5 with bet365 to score anytime. Mikel Oyarzabal is also worth keeping an eye on in the same market at 11/5 with Vbet.
Anything else catch the eye?
Barcelona and Real Sociedad have both scored in six of their last seven meetings and could be backed for a similar outcome at 4/6 with William Hill. With the hosts tipped to win but unlikely to keep a clean sheet, over 2.5 goals could also be considered at 4/6 with MansionBet.
Barcelona could be tipped to earn a win and over 2.5 goals at 6/4 with Skybet. The Catalans have scored in both halves in four of their last six matches against Real Sociedad and are likely to maintain that record at 6/4 with William Hill.
This La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Sociedad will be played on Aug 15, 2021 and kick off at 19:00. Check below for our tipsters best Barcelona vs Real Sociedad prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.