Barcelona should have no issues smashing Sociedad
Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg
Barcelona managed only a 20th-minute penalty from Neymar in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sociedad in last Thursday’s first leg of their Copa de Rey quarter-final in San Sebastian but the return match at Camp Nou is likely to be a more one-sided affair.
The onus is on Sociedad, who are fourth in La Liga, to try to retrieve the tie but they may struggle to keep the back door shut against the Catalans, who have scored ten goals in two Copa del Rey home matches this season.
Barcelona will want the tie done and dusted as soon as possible and head coach Luis Enrique seems likely to select his first-choice attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, who all featured for the full 90 minutes in the first leg.
However, Barca will be weaker than usual in midfield with Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Rafinha sidelined by injuries.
Having so many top-quality midfield players absent is from ideal against a Sociedad side whose strength is playing a pressing game. But Barca will carry an ever-present threat on the counter-attack and it may not take long for them to put the tie out of sight.
Of the injured midfield trio, only Busquets was available for Sunday’s 4-0 victory at Eibar and he lasted just nine minutes before having to come off.
However, Barca still coped comfortably against their mid-table hosts are likely to enjoy early dominance in the game against Sociedad, who have not beaten them at Camp Nou since 1991.
Barcelona-Barcelona double result
1pt 5-6 Coral