Along come the final eight in the Copa Del Day. FC Barcelona prepare to take on Real Sociedad, an opponent in top form, to decide which of the two contenders makes it to the semi-finals of the King’s cup.
Barca vs Real Sociedad: Match Details
Date: Wednesday, 25th January 2023
Competition: Copa Del Ray
Venue: Spotify Camp Nou
Time: 09:00 pm Central European Time
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
Barca vs Real Sociedad: Match Overview
As the season progresses, the revisionism of Barcelona under Xavi becomes more evident. The abilities and confidence of the players have seen a surge in appliance throughout the campaign. Top dogs in La Liga, defensively astute and offensively lethal, they are domestic juggernauts. However, as is the case always, cup ties are simply an animal of their own.
A one-legged affair against Real Sociedad is sure to be a tough task ahead. Two contenders in surreal form, both Barcelona and Sociedad are capable of laying a claim on the outcome of their contest. The Copa Del Ray is arguably Real Sociedad’s most realistic shot at a title this season. For the Catalans, it could cement itself as a cornerstone for their new era following the Spanish Super Cup.
La Blaugrana currently sit atop the La Liga table, having 5 wins out of their last 5 official games, as they continue their excellent run of form. However, they are met by a team with equally excelling momentum in Real Sociedad, who match their record. 5 wins out of 5 for them as well, in terms of forms, the teams appear on par.
Imanol Alguacil’s men are currently third in La Liga, and boast arguably the biggest threat to the top two in the league. They sit 3 points behind Real Madrid and 6 points behind Barcelona, although both of the top two have a game in hand. Sociedad will have to be met by Barcelona’s best version of themselves for the latter to stand a chance in this upcoming clash. An arduous task ahead, the Catalans do however possess the required potential.
Barca vs Real Sociedad: Potential line-up
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter-Stegen
Ter Stegen continued to showcase his quality and consistency against Getafe in the last outing. Commanding and brimming with confidence, the German is back amongst the very best. His ball distribution adds much more depth and lethality to Barcelona’s sometimes wayward possession.
Left-back: Alejandro Balde
A blaze of a speedster, Alejandro Balde is truly coming into his own. A La Masia gem that is just now being unearthed. As time passes and the youngster develops in both maturity and technicality, he will be a menace for opposing markers.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
Rested against Getafe in Barcelona’s last league outing, he remains indispensable for Xavi otherwise. The Uruguayan adds strength and solid leadership to the defence whenever he plays. His speed, recovery and aerial dominance are just a handful of attributes amongst many others that make him such a vital piece of Barcelona’s defensive jigsaw.
Centre-back: Andreas Christensen
The Dane continues to present himself as the underrated signing of the season. Calm and composed at most times, Christensen has fully merited his spot in Xavi’s best eleven.
Right-back: Jules Kounde
Perhaps the actual missing piece in this Barcelona side. Consistent throughout his performances for Barcelona thus far. His adaptability and his plethora of technical qualities make him an ideal player for the Catalans.
CDM: Frenkie De Jong
Arguably a toss-up between him and Busquets to start as the pivot. However, the Dutchman will provide the legs and energy to potentially keep up with Sociedad’s forward runs. Frenkie De Jong’s own abilities as a ball carrier will also be a helpful tool to have in Barcelona’s arsenal.
Pedri is undeniably finding his shooting boots this season. He’s already on 5 goals this season, which is as many as he had by the end of last season. His creativity, instincts to prowl into good positions and ability to read the game better than most around him make him essential to Xavi’s plans.
The young Spaniard is enjoying his fine form. His decision-making already seems improved and his cunning is no less energetic. A thorn in the side for any side that plays him, this tenacious youngster adds a lot of bite to Barcelona’s bark.
Left-winger: Ansu Fati
Gradually finding his stride again. Unlocking Ansu Fati’s potential again must be an objective for Xavi this season. As he continues to be given game time, the youngster is surely capable of repaying that trust with his quality.
Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski
The pole will once again be available for selection. His absence was heavily felt against Getafe when players had to compensate in that number 9 role. His availability is indefinitely a major relief to the Catalans, as Barcelona now possesses one of the world’s most potent finishers leading them up front.
Right-winger: Ousmane Dembele
His trickery has so often been a blessing to Barcelona this season. Ousmane Dembele continues to be the X-factor for Barcelona. His plays on the wing will surely be a headache for Sociedad to deal with.
Barca vs Real Sociedad: Expected line-up
Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen
Defenders: Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde
Midfielders: Pedri, De Jong, Gavi
Forwards: Fati, Lewandowski, Dembele