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La Liga: Goals are Almost Guaranteed in San Sebastian – But for Whom?!


La Liga: Goals are Almost Guaranteed in San Sebastian – But for Whom?!

Real Sociedad vs Barcelona

International breaks come and go, but two things rarely change.

One, Barcelona are still the La Liga 2018 favourites and rightly so.

Two, their manager Ernesto Valverde is not fond of rotating his squad too often for he places value on a settled team.

However, with the Catalan giants now beginning a hectic period with a trip to the Estadio Anoeta to face Sociedad and the Champions League returning next week, that may all be about to change.

Talking Points

That is because this is the start of a period of seven matches in three weeks: they have attractive-looking European ties against Spurs and PSV Eindhoven, and domestic contests against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao.

No wonder so many of you SBOBET fans will be licking your lips in anticipation at what could be a cracking month of football ahead.

Even accounting for the international break, Valverde has had key players he could turn to in training since Tuesday, including German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Uruguayan Luis Suarez and France’s Ousmane Dembele.

In fact, a dozen of his stars were away on international duty this past 10 days and, at the time of writing, only Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Arthur have yet to train at the Nou Camp since returning.

Of course, one player who has not been on international duty is number 10 superstar Lionel Messi. Central defender Gerard Pique also did not play, and both are almost certain to start.

In the week in which the club unveiled its new pink strip – following in the footsteps of Man Utd – that will be a big boost.

La Liga 2018 news in the Basque country is that this will be Sociedad’s first home match of the season.

They have played their first three games away while the Anoeta has undergone refurbishment.

Former Man Utd winger Adnan Januzaj is likely to be missing through injury, but coach Asier Garitano should have a squad with a clean bill of health at his disposal.

What’s more, his side has only failed to find the back of the net once in their last 24 home matches.

Expect goals in this one!

History

Both meetings last season were fairly close affairs.

In January, Barcelona triumphed 4-2, fighting back from 2-0 down to preserve their then-unbeaten league record.

It was an exciting contest, the outcome of which remained in the balance until Lionel Messi struck five minutes from time with a trademark free-kick.

It was also the first time Barcelona had won at Sociedad in their previous seven visits, including five defeats. One such game was when then-new Sociedad manager David Moyes masterminded a 1-0 home success shortly after he had been appointed in January 2015.

The corresponding fixture last season took place on the final day when they had already been crowned champions.

A 1-0 home victory secured by a Philippe Coutinho goal was more of a farewell party for Andres Iniesta in his final game for the club he served with such distinction.

Barcelona also saw off Sociedad in the two-legged Copa del Rey last season, at the quarter-final stage, on their way to sealing a league and cup double.

That means they are now chasing a sixth straight win over their rivals, although beware.

They have not kept a clean sheet in San Sebastian for more than a decade.

Betting Tip

First Half Asian Handicap Barcelona -0.75 @ 2.28

It really is difficult to bet against Barca.

Real Sociedad’s opening weekend victory at Villarreal was mightily impressive but they have only collected one point in the two matches since.

They can lift their game for matches against the big guns and no doubt will again.

However, the La Liga 2018 betting odds naturally favour the reigning champions and the early league leaders.

Barcelona are 1X2 priced @ 1.45 compared to Sociedad @ 7.00.

The draw is possibly worth a punt @ 4.20.

Asian Handicap betting suggests a comfortable win for Barca with odds of -1.50 @ 2.20.

They have scored 12 times in their opening three league matches – most of those in their recent romp against newly promoted Huesca – but their opening away game saw them pushed all the way before edging out Real Valladolid.

A repeat of their 1-0 success will pay out @ 9.75, while total goal 0-1 offers @ 6.00 and total goal 2-3 at a more realistic @ 2.21.

How about a Double Chance Sociedad or Draw @ 2.61.

So many permutations and I’m going for a Barcelona win from the get-go.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


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