21 April 2019
After securing their place in the Champions League semi-finals, Barcelona return to La Liga action as they host Real Sociedad to Camp Nou.
Sitting top of the table with a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, the hosts go into this meeting off the back of an astonishing 3-0 home win over Manchester United in their midweek’s Champions League clash. However, the Catalans have failed to wrap up all three points in their last LL game, playing out a goalless draw with Huesca away from home, which was the second time they’ve struggled to find the net in LL this term. Still, no team has scored more goals than Barcelona (81) this campaign, with Ernesto Valverde’s players netting 2+ match goals in 23 of 32 LL fixtures – league’s best record. Also, the Blaugrana have clinched five straight competitive home wins in the build-up to this meeting, scoring over 1.5 match goals each time. Shockingly, the reigning LL holders have racked up an outstanding 18-game home winning run over Real Sociedad across all competitions in the 21st century.
On the other hand, the visitors are not willing to greet European promotion in spite of their poor performances in the recent period. Having secured just one triumph in their last eight LL outings (W1, D4, L3), the Basque-based outfit currently reside 10th with a five-point deficit to the Europa League promotion zone. What’s more, Imanol Alguacil’s men have captured only one victory on eight road trips across all competitions since the turn of the year (W1, D5, L2) with three of five of their stalemates in that period ending with the same 0-0 scoreline. Another potential worry for the traveling side is that they’ve scored one goal or less in four of their previous five LL away games although restricting their opponents to a maximum of one goal per match three times along the way.
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