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Soccer

Real Sociedad vs Barcelona: team news, possible starting XIs

All the latest team news from Real Sociedad and Barcelona ahead of their LaLiga clash at the Reale Arena on Thursday 21 April.

Kieran Quaile
Update:
(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 30, 2021 Barcelona's Spanish defender Gerard Pique looks on during the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. - The Spanish Football Fe
PAU BARRENAAFP

Real Sociedad welcome Barcelona to the Reale Arena for their LaLiga fixture on Thursday. A win for the home side would move them into fifth place above Real Betis. A victory for Xavi’s Barcelona would see them return to second in the table. Atlético Madrid currently occupy the runners-up spot after their 0-0 draw at home to Granada on Wednesday.

Real Sociedad team news

On 17 March, Real Sociedad announced that club captain Mikel Oyarzabal had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament. He will miss the rest of the season.

The Basque club appealed the sending off of David Silva against Real Betis last Friday. Their appeal was rejected and Silva will serve a two-match ban, therefore missing tonight’s match. He will also miss the game against Rayo Vallecano.

Predicted Real Sociedad XI: Remiro - Gorosabel, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Rico - Zubimendi, Merino, Rafinha, Januzaj - Isak, Sorloth.

Barcelona team news

Barcelona suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Cádiz on Monday night. It was the first time the Andalusian outfit won at Camp Nou, with their goal coming from veteran striker Lucas Pérez early in the second half.

The Blaugrana will be once again without a couple of key players who were missing against Cádiz. Pedri and Ansu Fati both remain sidelined, although the latter could return for the team’s match against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Gerard Piqué, who has been in the news all week for off the field reasons, looks set to return from injury for tonight’s match. The veteran defender missed the Europa League tie against Eintracht Frankfurt, and the recent league fixtures against both Levante and Cádiz, coinciding with the team’s recent slump.

Club legend Busquets

Xavi also has Ronald Araújo back for the game against La Real after the Uruguayan served a one-match ban against Cádiz. Dani Alves, who also missed the game due to ankle discomfort, could return.

Sergio Busquets will become the third all-time appearance holder in Barcelona’s history, with 675 games played, one more than Andrés Iniesta, if he plays. Club manager Xavi is second on the list with 767 games. Argentine legend Leo Messi is the record holder with 778 games played for the Catalan club.

Predicted Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen - Alves, Araújo, Piqué, Alba - Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi - Dembélé, Aubameyang, Ferran Torres.

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