- Inconsistent Real Sociedad face surging Barcelona on Wednesday (3:00 pm ET) in the Spanish Super Cup’s opening semifinal
- Sociedad has leaked goals against top-five opponents in recent weeks, including a 2-1 defeat at Barça back on December 16
- Get a breakdown of both clubs, Wednesday’s odds and a few value picks below
We ought to start with a disclaimer: In a one-off cup competition setting, such as with Real Sociedad vs Barcelona, anything is possible.
As indicated by Real Sociedad’s march to the as-yet-undecided 2020 Copa del Rey final (date: April 14, 2021) and its elimination of Real Madrid on said march last season.
With that said, La Real are sliding: one solitary win in nine league matches (1-4-4) has seen Imanol’s side plummet out of the title race and more recently slide to the fringe of the European qualification spots.
Barça, on the other hand, is the complete opposite: Ronald Koeman’s team is buzzing, with four wins from its last five in league play propelling the Blaugrana back into the mix for second place.
It’s also the start of a six-game stretch for Barcelona in which it could — and probably should — go six-for-six: Sociedad* (A), third-division Cornella* (A), Elche (A), Athletic Bilbao (H), Real Betis (A) and Alaves (H).
*denotes Cup game.
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona Odds
|Real Sociedad vs Barcelona||RSO +1 (-136) | BAR -1 (+114)||RSO +350 | BAR -150 | DRAW +335||Ov 3.5 (+125) | Un 3.5 (-155)|
Odds taken Jan 12 at DraftKings
The recent head-to-head history in the matchup is heavily in Barcelona’s favor, with the Catalan side undefeated in 10 matches (9-1-0) across all competitions dating back to 2017.
Koeman’s side was good, but not great in the 2-1 win over Sociedad last month on home turf, and it seems likely that both teams to score (-200) will be in play — as it has hit in seven of the previous nine meetings between the two.
Real Sociedad: Rebel Without an Identity
Sociedad began the season strongly, rattling off six consecutive wins during a 7-1-2 start, but one of the hallmarks of that run — defense — has deserted Imanol’s side.
First, the offense went, managing just two goals in three matches (all draws) against Villarreal, Alaves and Eibar — not exactly murderer’s row.
More recently, the defense has done a disappearing act; Sociedad has conceded multiple goals in four of its last six La Liga matches (all losses). The return of veteran defender Nacho Monreal on Wednesday from injury should bolster a backline in serious need of some positives.
The question now is what is Real Sociedad: A good mid-table team with some plus-plus attacking options in Alexander Isak and Mikel Oyarzabal? An average mid-table team that will struggle to plug its defensive holes?
Time will tell in short order, with Betis (H) and Villarreal (A) on deck and neither an automatic result.
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona Stats
|8-6-5 (1.58 pts/game)||2020-21 La Liga Record||10-4-4 (1.89 pts/game)|
|29 (1.53/game)||Goals scored||37 (2.06/game)|
|16 (0.84/game)||Goals conceded||17 (0.94/game)|
|Mikel Oyarzabal (7)||Leading Scorer||Lionel Messi (11)|
|L – D – W – L – L||Overall Form||W – W – W – D – W|
|DNQ||2019-20 Super Copa||Lost SF to Atletico Madrid|
|5-17-4||H2H Record Since 2007 (W-L-T)||17-5-4|
Barcelona: Heating Up
At this point, Barça is a known quantity.
Lionel Messi leads the attack, with a strong supporting cast of playmakers ensuring the Blaugrana never lacks in the attack.
10 – @FCBarcelona's Lionel Messi 🇦🇷 has scored 11 goals in @LaLigaEN 2020/21 (two goals against Granada), the only player to score 10+ goals in 15 consecutive seasons in the competition’s history. Extraterrestrial. pic.twitter.com/oMLAvotCAf
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 9, 2021
While the offense has certainly roared to life for Koeman’s side in recent weeks, it’s the play of the defense — with three clean sheets in its last five matches — which has made a world of difference.
There’s no denying it: Barça is back.
Will this surge be enough to make up the four points (and three Atleti games in-hand) separating Messi and co. from the La Liga title? Probably not, but it might make for interesting viewing.
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona Best Bets
La Real have surrendered first-half goals in four of their last six, including two in the 2-1 defeat at Barça in December — which they trailed at the break.
Do you see the train of thought?
Barça has held a halftime lead in each of its last three games and four of five.
Both teams pack enough offensive punch to make a BTTS (both teams to score) Real Sociedad vs Barcelona bet attractive — though Barça is rightly favored to win each of the halves and outright in its quest to reach Sunday’s final.
Picks: Barcelona 1H (+110), Barcelona win/BTTS (+188)
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