Barcelona travel to the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta to square off against Real Sociedad on Sunday night and the match will be one which the Catalans will absolutely need to claim three points from in order to keep pace with Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Barcelona endured a very frustrating 0-0 draw against Malaga last weekend and the lost points meant that the defending champions are currently trailing rivals Real Madrid by four points in the La Liga table.
With the El Clasico on the horizon, Barcelona now cannot afford to lose more ground anytime soon and although it will not be easy, Luis Enrique will surely be demanding his players to claim a good result when they square off against Real Sociedad on Sunday night.
Here is the strongest possible Barcelona lineup for the clash against Real Sociedad –
Marc-Andre ter Stegen has managed two consecutive clean sheets but in all fairness, it has to be said that the goalkeeper was not overly worked against Malaga or indeed in the encounter with Celtic.
However, things could be different against a dangerous Real Sociedad side and ter Stegen will surely have to be on his guard in order to keep another clean sheet this weekend.
Samuel Umtiti and Jeremy Mathieu still remain ruled out which means that the duo of Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano will continue their partnership at the heart of the Barcelona backline.
Pique and Mascherano have looked solid recently, while the consistent Jordi Alba and Sergio Roberto will also be keen on maintaining their strong run of form in the full-back positions.
Andres Iniesta’s long term injury means that Andre Gomes is likely to extend his run in the Barcelona starting lineup on Sunday as well.
Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic have been the cornerstone of Barcelona’s team this season and the duo will surely have to perform well to guide the Catalans to victory against Sociedad this weekend.
The trio of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi started together for the first time in a long while against Celtic in the midweek Champions League encounter and it goes without saying that the Barcelona attack looked much more potent with the presence of the trio.
The three superstars are expected to lineup in attack on Sunday as well and they will surely need to play to their best to see off the solid Sociedad backline.