Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Prediction: An open game on Monday night

 | Sunday 12th May 2024, 17:24pm

Sunday 12th May 2024, 17:24pm

Mark Sochon's La Liga Tips

The season will not be considered a success for Barcelona but at least if they pip Catalan rivals Girona to second spot in the La Liga table, that would be something.

The next game in that challenge is on Monday night (20:00) on Premier Sports 1 and our Spanish football expert Mark Sochon previews the encounter and offers up his best Barcelona vs Real Sociedad predictions...

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score @ 4/5
  • Over 8.5 Corners & Robert Lewandowski 1+ shots on target @ 11/10

There’s Monday night football in La Liga from the Estadi Olímpic with Barcelona and Real Sociedad facing off. These sides finished 1st and 4th in the Spanish top flight last season, but neither will end up as high this time around.

For Barcelona, the focus is now on trying to clinch 2nd place ahead of Catalan rivals Girona. That mission is about more than just pride, giving the runners up will head to the Spanish Supercopa in Saudi Arabia next January. That would not only serve up a chance to win some silverware after a trophy-less season, but perhaps more significantly given their money troubles, would also be a lucrative pay day.

A 4-2 defeat in the derby with Girona last weekend delivered a fresh low point in a disappointing season for Barça. They twice led the game courtesy of goals from Andreas Christensen and Robert Lewandowski, but conceded three times in the space of 10 Second Half minutes to ensure they left empty handed.

Both sides have now qualified for the Champions League, but Barcelona’s failure to pick up a single point this season in their league games against Real Madrid and Girona, with 13 conceded across the four fixtures, is testament to how far standards have slipped after their 2022/23 title win, particularly at the back.

Xavi’s push to get his team playing more expansive football has not delivered better results. Defensive errors have been a recurring theme in recent weeks with João Cancelo and Ronald Araújo among those singled out for fierce criticism while youngster Pau Cubarsí has also looked less assured following a really bright start to his career in the Barça first team.

Barcelona only let in 20 goals last season in La Liga and a significant chunk of those came after the title had already been won. This term, that number is 43 with four games still to play, more than the likes of Mallorca and Alavés.

While they did keep six straight clean sheets in the league in a more convincing run between late February and mid April, the Catalans come into this game having let in 13 goals in their last four in all competitions, a record that has to offer hope to Real Sociedad heading into this game.

It has also been a less convincing campaign from the Basque side, following on from the highs of a top four finish last season and the end of a decade-long wait for Champions League football.

They started well enough and cruised through into the knockout stage in Europe but a blitz from Kylian Mbappé ended their European adventure in the Last 16. They were also surprisingly upset by Mallorca in the Copa del Rey Semi Finals and they’ve struggled to convince in the final third in La Liga which is the main reason why they are fighting for Europa League rather than Champions League qualification.

Take Kubo, their star in the first half of the season, has gone off the boil with the Japanese international registering just one goal and no assists in 2024 in La Liga, having scored six and assisted three before the turn of the year.

They are also paying the price for some questionable recruitment decisions in the summer in terms of the striker position. They have three natural number 9’s in the squad but Umar Sadiq, André Silva and Carlos Fernández have a combined total of just seven league goals, a fact made worse by the form of 19-goal Alexander Sørloth for Villarreal given the Norwegian spent

the previous two seasons on loan at the Reale Arena and would have been an attainable summer target.

Despite those issues, Real Sociedad’s form has picked up of late with four wins and only one defeat in their last seven in La Liga. However they’ve had some favourable fixtures with six of those games against teams ranked 10th or below in the current standings.

Team News:

Nothing has changed on the selection front for Barcelona since they last played with Alejandro Balde, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong still the only injured players.

Xavi may consider changes after defeat at Girona though. Pedri and Raphinha are strong candidates to return to the starting eleven while Iñigo Martínez is an option in defence if the Barça boss decides to take 17 year old Cubarsí out of the firing line.

Real Sociedad are missing three regulars with Javi Galán, Igor Zubeldia and Martín Zubimendi out injured. The latter is a big miss and has long been touted as a potential successor to Sergio Busquets in the holding midfield role at Barcelona.

There’s better news for visiting boss Imanol with Kieran Tierney available again, but it’s questionable whether the Scottish international will be ready to start after his latest spell on the sidelines.

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Barcelona vs Real Sociedad market page on (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

Barcelona head into the game as the 4/5 favourites while you can back the Draw at 13/5. Real Sociedad are priced at 7/2 for a repeat of their victory in this fixture last May.

They had a dreadful record in the Catalan capital prior to that win though and if you see the hosts taking care of business on Monday night, you can also back Barcelona and Over 2.5 Goals at 7/4 while Barcelona and Both Teams to Score is available at 13/5.

Real Sociedad are on offer at 6/4 to Win Either Half while you can back Draw or Real Sociedad Double Chance at Evens.

In-form Robert Lewandowski is the standout option in the goalscorer markets. He’s available at 7/2 to score first and 6/5 to score anytime while, assuming he is recalled, Raphinha may appeal at 12/5 to score anytime after netting four in his last seven games.

From the visiting team’s perspective, Mikel Oyarzabal leads the way at 15/2 to score first and 13/5 to score anytime.

Bet 1 - Both Teams to Score @ 4/5

While they’ll be keen to finish 2nd rather than 3rd, Barcelona do feel like they are in end of season mode now with some errors creeping in. Even the normally reliable Marc-André ter Stegen was guilty of a horrendous mistake that gifted Valencia a goal in their most recent home game.

Real Sociedad are one of the few teams left in La Liga who really do have something to play for with a tight race going on between themselves and Real Betis for 6th and 7th places, the difference between Europa and Conference League football.

They look very capable of making a real game of this and will be eager to pounce on any further Barcelona defensive uncertainty and I’m going with Both Teams to Score at 4/5.

Bet 2 - Over 8.5 Corners & Robert Lewandowski 1+ shots on target @ 11/10

Robert Lewandowski is making a late dash for the Pichichi Trophy which he won last year, with four goals in his last two league outings pushing him onto 17 in La Liga this term. He averages 2.8 shots per game across the season, more than any other player in the top ten of the Spanish top flight’s goalscoring charts and on current form, he stands a great chance of hitting the target at least once in this game.

68% of Barcelona games and 59% of Real Sociedad matches in La Liga this term have produced nine or more corners and I’m using the #PickYourPunt tool to back Over 8.5 Corners and Robert Lewandowski 1+ shots on target at 11/10 for my second pick.

You can check out Mark's La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Betfred Insights Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...

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