Barcelona predicted lineup vs Real Sociedad

Barcelona travel to the Basque Country to face Real Sociedad in La Liga on Sunday night.

The whole point of Barcelona’s economic levers was to provide short-term rewards. Yet, after selling off millions of future revenue for a fraction of its worth, Barcelona could only muster a 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano last weekend.

Here’s the XI Xavi Hernandez may deploy in a bid to achieve the immediate success the club have bet on so heavily.

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski drew a blank on his Barcelona debut last weekend / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – The German has been spotted zipping around Gracia – Barcelona’s trendy town – on his electric scooter in the past.

RB: Ronald Araujo – On the advice of the club’s youth team coaches, Araujo has based his game on Barcelona legend Carles Puyol, spending hours watching videos of the defender on YouTube.

CB: Andreas Christensen – The son of a former professional goalkeeper prevented Ter Stegen from facing an effort from point-blank range as he made a last-ditch sliding tackle on his debut against Rayo.

CB: Eric Garcia – The Masia graduate captained every youth team he played for in Barcelona’s fabled academy. He may not have the senior armband yet, but he may well have a starting berth.

LB: Jordi Alba – After agreeing to rejoin Barcelona shortly before the Euro 2012 final, his future teammate and current manager, Xavi, assisted his goal in the showpiece fixture.

CM: Gavi – Less than 12 months ago, the regular starter for Barcelona and the senior national team was still turning out in the third tier of Spanish football.

CM: Frenkie de Jong – After a preseason of uncertainty – which continues to rage on in the background – De Jong may be drafted in as the most natural replacement for the suspended Sergio Busquets.

CM: Pedri – In a significant move for a player who idolised Andres Iniesta so much he wanted the same haircut as the balding midfielder – his dad shut that down – Pedri was given his iconic number eight shirt this season.

RW: Raphinha – Barcelona is in Raphinha’s blood. His father Rafael was part of the band – Samba Tri – which Ronaldinho flew over to Catalonia for his birthday celebration each year.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – Last weekend was the first time in eight years that Lewandowski failed to score in his club’s first game of the season.

LW: Ousmane Dembele – The Frenchman created the most chances across the opening weekend of La Liga (five) but failed to carve out a goal for his teammates.


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