Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad - Competition: Spanish Copa del Rey 
After 59 rounds at the top of the Primera Division, part of it in this season and part of it in the previous one, Barcelona has slid on second place which now has to share with its biggest rival Real Madrid. Barcelona was close to drop on third place, which hasn’t happened for ages but is nevertheless sufficiently shaken. The cause of the fall is not only the first defeat at home by Valencia on Saturday but Barca before that drew twice with Atletico and Levante, so the loss of the leadership positions was inevitable.
When it comes to the match against Valencia, they were totally unexpectedly defeated by significantly weakened opponent who maximally punished the desperate defence of the Catalans. Barcelona is very vulnerable on both wings and opponents use it but this time the stoppers have failed too. Three received goals is half of all hitherto received at the Camp Nou, which only confirms where the problem is. Absences cannot be an excuse as only Neymar and Puyol didn’t play. We should expect changes in the team now given that this is a Cup match and an uncomfortable visiting match against Seville in waiting for them in the next round of the championship.
Real Sociedad too has no reason to be satisfied after it failed in one more derby match last weekend. The numbers are the best proof as this team received a total of 17 goals and scored just three in four away matches; against first three-placed teams and fifth-placed Villarreal. So, when they play against a weaker team or when they are the hosts the whole thing works, but for stronger ones Real Sociedad hasn’t found a medicine yet. On Sunday in Madrid they even looked good for the most part of the match, especially in the first half when they played on equal footing. They felt apart in last 20 minutes when they received three goals, so at the end it was a convincing 4-0 win for Atletico.
Coach Arass unexpectedly experimented a bit or he deliberately rested several players for the match at the Camp Nou and Vela was the lone striker, Agirretxe stayed on the bench, and Gazantaga and Zurutuza were a novelty in the midfield. Now the question is how much he will change the team, as running out at the Camp Nou with a mixed team can bring a real catastrophe.

Possible line-ups:  
Real Sociedad: Zubikarai – Zaldua, M. Gonzalez, I. Martinez, Jose Angel – Ruben Pardo, Zurutuza – Vela, Xabi Prieto, Griezmann – Agirretxe.
FC Barcelona: Pinto – Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano – Song, Roberto, Iniesta – Tello, A.Sanchez, Messi.

Match date: Wednesday, 05 February 2014
Kick Off Time: 21:00 GMT
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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