Xavi’s men need to win without Busquets and without Koundé after the puncture in the debut against Rayo
Barcelona is looking for this Sunday at the Reale Arena stadium to hit the table. The team led by Xavi faces Real Sociedad with the obligation to leave behind the doubts sown after the initial draw at the Camp Nou against Rayo Vallecano and achieve a victory that restores the illusion in the new project. He will do it without Sergio Busquets and without Jules Koundé, two important absences, but with the idea of achieving a weighty victory against a rival from the area, a priori, high in the League.
“Today is a disappointment, but it is the beginning and we have to continue to believe in this game model, which is what has to lead us to success,” Xavi assured last weekend after a goalless draw punctured by the balloon of illusion that his team had since the preseason began. That day Barça came down from a cloud. The fans, the signings, the sensations… everything was idyllic for a team that was going like a shot in the preseason, that started the League in a bubble, and that at the first change found a ‘Stop’ signal. Dimitrievski and Rayo Vallecano stopped the euphoria and now it’s time to start from scratch.
The first stop to return that faith is the Reale Arena. Barça’s objective this Sunday is to leave that debut in a mere slip, and there is no better scenario than a visit to one of the most complicated stadiums in the League. The ‘txuri-urdin’ fiefdom is a place where the Catalans suffered for years, but which has recently become a talismanic field. Even Ronald Koeman, who won 1-6 there as coach, gave himself a tribute and that is what Xavi hopes will happen this Sunday when the ball rolls, that everything goes smoothly. And it is that a victory with good feelings would be balsamic in the middle of the racket that there is day to day in the Catalan offices until the transfer market closes.
To do this, the Tarrasa coach will have to face two notable absences. Busquets is suspended after being expelled last weekend against Rayo and Koundé will not be in the game either, as Barcelona have not yet been able to solve the puzzle involved in registering him.
It will not be a simple match for the Catalans. Real Sociedad appears in an official match this season in front of its public and does so with three points already in its pocket. The team led by Imanol Alguacil beat Cádiz 0-1 last weekend at the Nuevo Mirandilla stadium thanks to a solitary goal from Take Kubo and will seek three points that will lift them to the top of the table. He will have to do it, yes, with Mikel Oyarzabal, Merquelanz, Carlos Fernández and Diego Rico out due to injury.
A crash with the aroma of farewell
The match against Real Sociedad can also be the goodbye of some other footballer. Koundé is still waiting for Barcelona to release salary bills and the players who currently have the most ballots to leave are Aubameyang and Memphis Depay. Both count for Xavi, but the interest of Chelsea and Juventus has made them become priorities in the market for the Catalans to make money and the former Sevilla player can finally be registered.
Remiro, Aritz, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Aihen, Brais, Zubimendi, Silva, Merino, Kubo and Isak.
Ter Stegen, Araujo, Eric García, Christensen, Balde, De Jong, Pedri, Gavi, Dembélé, Lewandowski and Ferran Torres.
José Luis Munuera Montero (Andalusian Committee).