Barcelona Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Real Sociedad | Soccer

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Barcelona return to action in the Primera Division on Saturday against Real Sociedad, but the Catalans will also be looking ahead to their Champions League clash at home to Juventus on Wednesday night.

Luis Enrique’s side lost 3-0 in Turin on Tuesday and will now need to produce another epic comeback like the one they managed against PSG, but they cannot take their foot off the pedal in La Liga as they attempt to close in on leaders Real Madrid.

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Los Blancos lead Barca by three points in the Primera Division, while Zinedine Zidane’s side also have a game in hand after their match away to Celta Vigo in February was postponed due to storm damage at the Galicians’ Balaidos stadium.

BARCELONA INJURIES

Aleix Vidal is sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering a horrific ankle injury at Alaves in February, while Rafinha is also out after limping off in the game at Granada recently.

Arda Turan is back in training and could feature, but Javier Mascherano misses out with a calf problem picked up in the game against Juventus.

BARCELONA SUSPENSIONS

Neymar is suspended after being hit with a three-match ban for his red card and subsequent protests in Malaga last weekend.

Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic were suspended for that match as Barca lost 2-0 at La Rosaleda, but both return for the game against Real Sociedad. So too does Sergio Busquets, banned for the Champions League clash against Juventus last Tuesday.

Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are just one booking away from a ban.

Neymar

BARCELONA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is set to revert back to 4-3-3 for the game against Real Sociedad on Saturday.

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With Neymar out, Arda could start on the left of the side’s attack. The Turkey midfielder has not been given the all-clear yet by the medical staff, but has trained well for two days and Luis Enrique will be keen to try him out in the team before the Clasico next weekend.

Elsewhere, Jordi Alba will be back in the side and Jeremy Mathieu could feature if Luis Enrique decides to rest Samuel Umtiti ahead of the return match against Juventus.

Barcelona possible Real Sociedad

REAL SOCIEDAD TEAM NEWS

Real Sociedad moved back into sixth place in La Liga last weekend after beating Sporting Gijon 3-1 at home.

The Basque side were challenging for a Champions League spot at one point, but have dropped off the pace in recent weeks and fifth now looks a more realistic target for Eusebio Sacristan’s side.

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REAL SOCIEDAD VILLARREAL LALIGA 02192017

BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS

  • Barcelona were shut out in their previous league game against Malaga, but they haven’t failed to score in consecutive La Liga games since April 2008 under Frank Rijkaard.

  • 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 their current coach Eusebio Sacristan was a Barcelona player.

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

TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME

Barcelona versus Real Sociedad kicks off at 20:45 CET on Saturday and will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports 3 from 19:30 GMT.



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