Barcelona will host Real Sociedad in the La Liga matchday 1 on Sunday. The kick-off is at 20:00 CEST.
Barca finished outside the top two in the Spanish top flight last season for the first time since 2008 and now they face an extremely hard task of bringing the La Liga trophy back to Camp Nou without Lionel Messi. The Argentine was unable to continue at the Blaugrana due to the club's financial struggles so he picked Paris Saint-Germain as his next destination. Without the 34-year-old in the squad, Ronald Koeman's men claimed four victories in their five pre-season friendlies, inlcuding the most recent 3-0 win over Juventus in the Joan Gamper Trophy.
Sociedad, for their part, missed out on the Champions League places last term as Imanol Alguacil's side finished fifth in the 2020/21 La Liga campaign. The Basques have played six exhibition games since their 1-0 win over Osasuna on the final day of the previous season, registering four victories and two losses.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Oscar Mingueza, Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Aguero have all been ruled out of the forthcoming clash through respective injuries for the hosts. La Real, meanwhile, are set to be without Alexander Isak, Nacho Monreal, Carlos Fernandez and their new goalkeeper Mathew Ryan on Sunday.
Even if the Catalans remain unbeaten against the Basques in 13 matches on the bounce since 2016, we wouldn't be suprised to see Sociedad breaking that unwanted trend in their 2021/22 La Liga opener. Messi's departure from Camp Nou will certainly affect Barca's results in the months and years to come but now it's Ter Stegen and Aguero who look to be the most significant absentees in Koeman's squad. Let's stick with some entertaining outcome in this one since neither side can boast a solid defense right now. Moreover, Barca's new boy Memphis Depay is in line to make his official debut against La Real and will definitelly be looking for a successful start to life in Catalonia.
Total over 3 at 1.93 with 1XBET.
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