Preview: Real Sociedad V Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 07: Lionel Andres Messi (L) of FC Barcelona fights for the ball with Ivan Lopez Alvarez, Ivi, of Levante UD during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on 07 January 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona will look to continue their march toward La Liga's title on Sunday, when they take on Real Sociedad at Anoeta.

La Real have won just once in La Liga since November 5, while Barca have racked up four league wins in succession heading into the match.


Date: Sunday, January 14

Time: 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET

TV: Sky Sports (UK), beIN Sports USA

Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), beIN Sports Connect USA


Team News

According to Goal's Phil Kitromilides, Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is closing in on a return to fitness but Sunday's clash will come too soon for him. Club-record signing Philippe Coutinho will be unable to make his debut as he deals with a thigh injury.

Per the same report, Real Sociedad's Carlos Martinez could be set to feature for the first time in more than 12 months after recovering from a knee ligament injury.



The two clubs' recent form would suggest Barcelona should expect another win here.

Barca have scored 12 goals and conceded none in their past four Liga matches, while struggling Sevilla are the only team La Real have beaten domestically for more than two months.

It's of little coincidence Barcelona are doing so well given Luis Suarez's return to form after his poor start to the season.

Football journalist Rik Sharma noted the striker's improvement of late:

Rik Sharma @riksharma_

Suarez has eight in nine games since Uruguay agreed to give him a rest. It's worked out quite well.

2018-1-7 15:59:41

Lionel Messi is, as always, in superb form, but another key to the Blaugrana's success has been the impressive number of goals they have received from an unexpected source:

B/R Football @brfootball

Goalinho is outscoring the big-name attackers in La Liga this season 💪

2018-1-7 23:08:56

Paulinho's goalscoring record is even more impressive given he has started just 10 matches in La Liga this season.

Barcelona have shipped just seven league goals all season, though that will be put to the test by La Real, whose total of 31 goals scored is bettered only by those of Celta Vigo, Real Madrid, Valencia and the league leaders.

The home side will also look to extend their remarkable record against Barcelona at Anoeta, as La Liga's official Twitter account highlighted:

LaLiga @LaLiga

10/11 R.Sociedad 2-1 Barça ✅ 11/12 R.Sociedad 2-2 Barça ➖ 12/13 R.Sociedad 3-2 Barça ✅ 13/14 R.Sociedad 3-1 Barça ✅ 14/15 R.Sociedad 1-0 Barça ✅ 15/16 R.Sociedad 1-0 Barça ✅ 16/17 R.Sociedad 1-1 Barça ➖ ¡Anoeta no es campo fácil para el FC Barcelona! #RealSociedadBarça

2018-1-10 14:11:08

That should give Real Sociedad plenty of encouragement, even if their recent form fails to inspire confidence.

With that in mind, Barcelona will need to be at their best if they are to come away with three points.

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