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Barcelona VS Real Sociedad LIVE Football Score 21/04/2022

Barcelona VS Real Sociedad LIVE Football Score 21/04/2022

Barcelona will be bidding to return to winning ways in La Liga when they make the trip to top-four rivals Real Sociedad on Thursday night. The Catalan outfit are currently second in the table, 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid, while Real Sociedad are fifth, five points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid in the race for the Champions League spots. Real Sociedad have not finished higher than fifth in La Liga since claiming fourth in 2013, but they are in the mix for a top-four spot this term, currently sitting sixth, five points behind fourth-placed Atletico.

The Basque outfit have been in strong form since losing 4-1 at Real Madrid towards the start of March, picking up 11 points from their last five matches, including a 0-0 draw with fifth-placed Real Betis on Friday night. Real Sociedad will need to win the majority of their final six league matches to stand a chance of finishing in the top four, and they have three relatively kind fixtures after this one, facing Rayo Vallecano, Levante and Cadiz, before tackling Villarreal and Atletico in their last two league games of the campaign.

The White and Blues have been strong in front of their own supporters this season, picking up 32 points from 16 matches, recording nine wins in the process, but they will be hosting a Barcelona side with the second-best away record in Spain’s top flight, with the Catalan outfit collecting 28 points from 16 matches. Real Sociedad have also lost nine of their last 10 league games against Barcelona and have not overcome them in Spain’s top flight since April 2016, which is the indication of the size of their task in this match.

Barcelona won seven straight league matches between February 20 and April 10, which left them in charge of second spot in the table, but they suffered a shock 1-0 home loss to Cadiz on Monday night.

Lucas Perez netted the only goal of the contest early in the second period, and Xavi’s side could not respond, despite the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adama Traore and Luuk de Jong all being introduced in the second half of the league contest.

Barcelona are still second in the table, now 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid with a match spare, but they are level on points with third-placed Sevilla and fourth-placed Atletico, while Real Betis in fifth position are just three points behind, so the Catalan outfit are in a top-four battle.

Xavi’s side were shocked at home by Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals of the Europa League last week, meanwhile, so it has not been a positive few days for the team, who will seemingly end the season without a trophy unless there is a dramatic collapse from Real Madrid.

Barcelona, who are expected to be active in the summer transfer window despite their ongoing financial issues, will face Rayo Vallecano and Mallorca in back-to-back home league fixtures after this one, before taking on Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Getafe and Villarreal in their final four games of the campaign.

The 2021/22 La Liga season continues this midweek, with Matchday 33 culminating on Thursday. Four games will take place on the day, with Real Sociedad and Barcelona scheduled to bring the curtains down on the latest round of fixtures with their clash at the Reale Arena.

Real Sociedad’s 2021/22 campaign has ebbed and flowed throughout the season, with La Real blowing hot and cold since August. But Imanol Alguacil’s men are currently on a five-game unbeaten run dating back to early March, collecting 11 points from a possible 15 while remaining in contention for a top-four finish following results at the weekend.

On the other hand, Barcelona’s recent momentum threatens to come to a grinding halt after a run of one win in four games. During this period, Eintracht Frankfurt booted Barcelona out of the UEFA Europa League, while the defeat to Cadiz this past weekend has all but ended their slim La Liga title hopes. So while Xavi Hernandez had steadied the ship after a rocky start, the season could end in a disappointing fashion.

Barcelona won the reverse fixture 4-2 thanks to goals from Gerard Pique, Martin Braithwaite, and Sergi Roberto, with Julene Lobete and Mikel Oyarzabal scoring for Real Sociedad. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.

Imanol Alguacil has a new roster issue hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Barcelona. On Thursday, the Real Sociedad manager will be bereft of the services of five first-team players due to injuries or suspension-related problems.

David Silva is the latest absentee, with the veteran Spanish playmaker set to serve a one-match ban after being sent off against Real Betis last week. Silva has joined Nacho Monreal (knee), Mikel Oyarzabal (ACL), Ander Barrenetxea (hamstring), and Carlos Fernandez (knee) on the sidelines.

Silva’s absence means Alguacil could shuffle the formation slightly, moving to a 4-3-3 from a 4-4-2 diamond. The change of the system could force Alexander Isak to start out wide on the left flank instead of playing through the middle in a strike partnership with Alexander Sorloth.

Sorloth will thus spearhead the Real Sociedad attack against Barcelona, with Isak and Portu being the two wide attackers. The formation change will not affect the roles of the three midfielders, who will still aim to keep things tight in the middle of the park, with Rafinha Alcantara looking to move Real Sociedad forward at a quick tempo.

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