Thirteen-time Supercopa de Espana winners Barcelona play inaugural champions Real Sociedad in the semi-finals of this year’s Spanish Super Cup. The second season where this tournament features four teams, a place in Sunday’s final at Seville’s Estadio de La Cartuja is up for grabs.
Where and when: Estadio Nuevo Arcangel – 13 January, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Real Sociedad vs. Barcelona: Bet365 live streaming
Last time: Barcelona came from behind to beat Sociedad 2-1 the last time the teams met in mid-December, with all three goals coming inside the first half. The odds on the first period being the highest scoring half again here are 2/1 with William Hill.
Real Sociedad v Barcelona Predictions and Preview
Real Sociedad won the first edition of the Spanish Super Cup back in 1982, but silverware has been thin on the ground for the Basque outfit in the intervening years. Indeed, this is the first time La Real are back in this tournament since their triumph almost 40 years ago – despite winning the Copa del Rey in 1987 – but repeating that success is going to be tough with Barcelona standing in their way of reaching the final here.
The Catalan giants are unbeaten in their last 11 games against Sociedad, wining nine. One of those victories was only a matter of weeks ago, with the San Sebastien club’s last win against Barca coming back in April 2016.
The omens aren’t great for Sociedad, and worse still for the White and Blues, Barcelona have finally found some form in recent weeks. Ronald Koeman’s methods are slowly starting to show some shoots of life, with Barca coming into this game on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run.
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Barcelona to win and BTTS
Barcelona to win 2-1
Messi to score first
The Blaugrana have won six of those games, including each of their last three. Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of Granada was a throwback to happier times for Barca, who seem to have Lionel Messi back onside and playing with a smile on his face.
The Argentine maestro’s form is intrinsic to Barcelona’s chances of success this season. That could mean the mercurial No.10 is rested for this game though, with Koeman clearly wishing to manage his star man’s workload ahead of what’s set to be a hectic second half of the campaign.
Messi has 16 goals and nine assists in 26 appearances against Sociedad, and if he starts, it’s hard to look past Barcelona at 13/18 for the victory. If he’s left out of the starting line-up, or even out of the squad altogether, La Real will suddenly look much better value at 19/5 for the win.
Indeed, the odds on Sociedad will no doubt shorten when the teams are announced ahead of this game if Messi isn’t involved, so it’s probably best to back them sooner rather than later if you fancy the upset.
This Real Sociedad v Barcelona preview must be settled one way or another on Wednesday, with a draw after 90 minutes priced at 7/2. Barcelona are 1/3 to qualify for the final by any method, while La Real are available at 23/10 for the same bet.
One to watch for Real Sociedad: Mikel Oyarzabal is having a good season for La Real, bagging seven goals in his first 14 La Liga appearances of the campaign. He is 8/1 to get the scoring underway in these Real Sociedad v Barcelona predictions.
One to watch for Barcelona: Lionel Messi was superb at the weekend in netting his second successive brace. He has seven goals in his last seven games, and as the Supercopa de Espana’s all-time leading scorer with 14 goals in 19 appearances, is the 17/5 favourite to break the deadlock on Wednesday night.
Long shot: Barcelona have scored 14 goals in their last seven matches against Sociedad, at an average of two per game. They’ve netted exactly two goals in four of the last five meetings, while La Real have scored seven times themselves during that seven-match run. A 2-1 Barca win on Wednesday is priced at 15/2 in these Real Sociedad v Barca tips, rising to 34/1 with Messi scoring first.