Barcelona travel to the Basque country this evening to lock horns with Real Sociedad, a side they’ve already faced twice this season in La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana. Barcelona are in a good moment despite their elimination from the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain last week.
Joan Laporta’s election as president has engendered positive feeling at the Catalan club, with Laporta serving as in many ways a living reminder of the glorious success Barcelona achieved under Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola in the 2000s. His election has been coupled with Ronald Koeman’s team showing evidence of tangible process on the pitch, into the final of the Copa del Rey and well in the fight for La Liga.
Koeman is expected to avoid rotation for the game as per Diario Sport and start with his strongest eleven, with the fixture taking on increased importance following Real Madrid’s 3-1 triumph at Celta Vigo yesterday afternoon. Lionel Messi, should he play as expected, will become the player with the most appearances in the history of Barcelona with 768. Should the Argentine score a brace, he’ll also reach 700 goals as a Barcelona player.