8 March 2020
Barcelona will entertain Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou this weekend, looking to extend their unbeaten run in official H2Hs to ten games (W7, D2).
The hosts have surrendered top spot in La Liga (LL) to arch-rivals Real Madrid to whom they lost 2-0 at the Bernabeu last weekend. It was the first time since a 2-0 loss to Valencia in January that the Catalans failed to find the net in the league, ending their four-game winning LL streak that had seen them score over 1.5 goals in each victory. However, the Camp Nou has been a real fortress this season, with Barca securing 12 wins in 13 LL matches here (D1). Additionally, Quique Setien’s players have racked up 70.97% of their total league goals scored on home turf (44/62), netting 2+ goals in all but two of their league fixtures here. Considering that 59% (26) of those goals came in the first half, it’s not a surprise that the reigning champions opened the scoring in 11 of 13 LL home outings so far.
Meanwhile, high-flying visitors have won six consecutive games in all competitions going into this encounter, including midweek’s 1-0 away win over Mirandes in the Copa del Rey. Five of those six successes have yielded a one-goal margin, with three seeing Sociedad lead 1-0 at halftime. But, away from home, Imanol Alguacil’s men have failed to pick up a triumph in four of their last five LL matches (D1, L3), scoring under 1.5 goals in all bar a 4-3 win over Osasuna. To even stand a chance against a Barcelona side they’ve lost to in all 17 of their previous top-flight trips in the 21st century, ‘La Real’ will have to avoid conceding the opening goal – they returned just a single point from three LL away matches in which they’ve shipped the opener.
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