Predicted Barcelona starting XI for Real Sociedad clash

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Barcelona face off against Real Sociedad in Super Cup semifinal.

Having won four out of their last five matches, Barcelona look to keep the good times rolling when they face Real Sociedad in the semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup.

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With the current run of fixtures in such a short amount of time, manager Ronald Koeman may be considering rotating his side for this upcoming match. At the same time, he may not want to take a risk and stick to what is working.

In any respect, given Barcelona are four points behind Atletico Madrid, with Atletico having played three less games, this competition may be the club’s best chance at winning some silverware this season.

If that is the mindset heading into the tournament, then Koeman will be more inclined to feature his “gala XI.”


Barring any injury, Marc-Andre ter Stegen should get the not as the starting goalkeeper. Neto did a fine job when Ter Stegen was out earlier in the season but if Barcelona are serious about winning, then the German is the best option.

With no other option, Sergiño Dest will be at right-back. Sergio Roberto is still a ways away from being fit. Dest has quickly adapted to his new team and shown that they made the right decision in signing him from Ajax.

Center-back is where the questions and doubts come in. Ronald Araujo was replaced prior to the Granada match. While he has been included in the squad list, it is not certain he will feature at all. With Oscar Mingueza continuing to impress, he should start which then leaves a spot open for either Clement Lenglet or Samuel Umtiti.

Lenglet was suspended for the Granada match but is once again available. Umtiti replaced Araujo and did a decent job. Koeman only goes to Umtiti when he’s fit and there is no other option. But because of his recent display he could be tempted to give the World Cup winning defender the start over his compatriot.

At left-back, it’s Jordi Alba’s spot to lose. Despite his age, he is the best option on that left side of defense. Junior Firpo is unlikely to be chosen ahead of Alba. Not to mention he’s been constantly rumored with a move away from Barcelona.


As long as he is healthy, Frenkie de Jong is already penciled in by Koeman. He too is another player who has seen his performances improved over the past couple of weeks. The only doubt is who partners him in the double-pivot role.

Sergio Busquets played alongside of him in their last match but was subbed out and replaced by Miralem Pjanic. Koeman could opt for the Bosnian to give Busquets a break.


The forward line seems to be a puzzle that Koeman has finally figured out.

Lionel Messi and Pedri have established an understanding reminiscent of the one the Argentinian had with former midfielder Andres Iniesta.

Ousmane Dembélé is finally showing flashes as to why the club spent so much to pry him away from Borussia Dortmund. His decision making is getting better and his pace and dribbling make him a dangerous player going forward. He’s a different player than any other player the club have on their squad.

Antoine Griezmann is also starting to contribute more consistently. He had a brace and an assist against Granada and no longer seems to be clashing on the pitch with Messi. Playing against his former team should also be added motivation.

The last time these two teams met was back in December at the Camp Nou. A struggling Barcelona side managed to beat Real Sociedad 2-1. On a neutral venue, the Catalans will look to build on that performance.

Expected starting lineup:

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Right-back: Sergiño Dest
Center-back: Oscar Mingueza
Center-back: Clement Lenglet
Left-back: Jordi Alba
Central midfielder: Miralem Pjanic
Central midfielder: Frenkie de Jong
Forward: Lionel Messi
Forward: Pedri
Forward: Ousmane Dembélé
Striker: Antoine Griezmann

Next. Ronald Koeman admits Barcelona need Lionel Messi to succeed. dark

Who would you like to see being featured against Sociedad?