Source: China State Council Information Office
FC Barcelona face another big test of their form when Ronald Koeman’s side entertain La Liga leaders, Real Sociedad on Wednesday night in a game brought forward because of both teams’ Spanish Supercup commitments in January.
Barca go into the game after Leo Messi’s goal gave them a 1-0 win at home to Levante on Sunday, although Barca’s overall performance did little to suggest they have returned to form after last week saw them lose to Cadiz and Juventus.
Koeman’s side again looked pedestrian on the ball and they created few chances against a rival struggling to avoid relegation.
The Barca coach will make some changes on Wednesday with 18-year-old Pedri likely to get the nod ahead of Philippe Coutinho, whose form is a cause for concern after returning from injury.
Meanwhile Miralem Pjanic could be given a chance in midfield, while Clement Lenglet will partner Ronald Araujo in central defense as Samuel Umtiti slowly gets minutes following his long absence with a knee injury.
Real Sociedad travel as leaders of La Liga, but they too disappointed at the weekend as they were held by Eibar and Imanol Alguacil’s side would almost certainly prefer to have a midweek rest for once after a draining group stage in the Europa League.
Imanol’s side has drawn their last six games in all competitions and have missed Spain international forward Mikel Oyarzabal, sidelined with a hamstring injury.
However, David Silva should be back, and ‘La Real’ will make several changes from the side that drew 1-1 on Sunday with Willian Jose, Nacho Monreal, Silva, Portu and Igor Zubeldia all likely to start.
The side from San Sebastian travel to Barca nine points ahead of Koeman’s men (all be it with two more games played) but with a terrible record in the Camp Nou having lost every one of the 24 league visits they have made to Barca’s home ground since 1995. If they can end that record on Wednesday, it would show just how much their rivals are struggling.