Xabi Prieto: Best time to face Barca

Real Sociedad skipper Xabi Prieto says that now is the best time to face Barcelona ahead of his side’s visit to the Camp Nou on Sunday.

Prieto has taken over the captain’s armband following Mikel Aranburu’s retirement and is hoping his side can cause an upset in the La Liga opener against Tito Vilanova’s men.

“Now, on the first day, is the best time to play them,” he told Marca.

“We know right from the start that it is always very difficult to play at the Camp Nou.

“Nevertheless, teams like Numancia and Hercules have done some damage there in the first game in the past. Why can’t we do the same?”

Midfielder Prieto is aware the Txuri-urdin will have to play to their maximum capabilities to take anything home from the Catalan capital, while they will also have to defend well.

‘Barcelona are a great team and we have to be prepared to try and stop them,” said Prieto, who also spoke of his personal goals for the season.

“I hope to be a regular and, above all, be lucky with injuries. I hope I can contribute to the team and improve on what we did last term.”

The veteran maintained Philippe Montanier’s men have had a good pre-season and are optimistic this year will see even more progress.

“We have to take things step by step but we’ve been working well and with great intensity. Now is the time to prove it.”

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