Team News: Injury And Suspension-Hit Barcelona Lineup Against Real Sociedad
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Barcelona Predicted lineup To Face Sociedad: Paco Alcacer May Replace Suspended Neymar


  • Barcelona will be without the suspended Neymar as they look to keep their title challenge alive against Real Sociedad on Saturday.

    The Catalans crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in midweek.

    That came after their hopes of catching Real Madrid at the top of La Liga suffered a serious blow with a 2-0 loss at Malaga last weekend.

    To compound matters, forward Neymar has been suspended for three domestic games after sarcastically applauding a referee following his red card against Malaga.

    With the return against Juve coming next Wednesday, followed by El Clasico the following weekend, Barca need a morale-boosting victory as they host European hopefuls Real Sociedad.

    But they head into the weekend trailing leaders Madrid, who face struggling Sporting Gijon on Saturday, by three points having played a game more.

    Barcelona’s 3-4-3 formation struggled against the well organised Juventus side. With 3-4-3 ditched, manager Enrique will look to revert back to 4-3-3 as the plan is to keep the pressure on league leaders Real Madrid.

    Let’s take a look at how they could potentially lineup…

    Goalkeeper

    Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start in between the sticks after having played the majority of the season in goal.

    Defence

    Javier Mascherano has a muscle problem, which should mean Sergi Roberto continues at right-back, with Gerard Pique likely to give Samuel Umtiti a rest at centre-back.

    Jordi Alba could start after missing out on quite a few games in recent times and with the three-man defence ditched it could be a perfect opportunity to show he’s still Barca quality.

    Midfield

    The Brazilian Rafinha is out until the end of the season and there’s a doubt with the fitness of Arda Turan.

    Andre Gomes and Sergio Busquets should start along with Denis Suarez after Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta struggled to make an impact against Juventus and most likely need a rest.

    Forwards

    Neymar is suspended for three La Liga matches after being sent off against Malaga and then sarcastically clapping the fourth official on his way off the pitch.

    Former Valencia star Paco Alcacer is likely to replace the Brazilian in Luis Enrique’s front three, as Arda Turan is still recovering from an adductor injury.

    Match Facts

    Barcelona have won their last 18 games at home against Real Sociedad, scoring a total of 51 goals (2.8 per game).

    Real Sociedad have not picked up any points at the Camp Nou in league competition since April 1995 (1-1), when Eusebio Sacristan was a Barcelona player.

    Lionel Messi has scored eight goals in his eight games against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou (all competitions).

    Messi has already scored 27 goals in La Liga this season, one more than in the whole of last season (26).

    Luis Suárez has scored 13 goals in his 13 games at the Camp Nou in La Liga this season.

     

     

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