Barcelona’s hopes of completing an unbeaten La Liga campaign were shattered last weekend, but they are red-hot favourites to make amends against Real Sociedad.
Winners of this season’s league and cup double in Spain, Barca incredibly found themselves 5-1 down after just 56 minutes away to Levante but 15 minutes later they trailed 5-4. Philippe Coutinho bagged a hat-trick but neither he nor his team-mates could find an equaliser.
That defeat will have hurt Ernesto Valverde’s side, who would have wanted the ‘invincibles’ tag, but at least they get the chance to end the campaign on an appropriately high note in front of their own fans.
Like the game against Levante, there is nothing riding on this fixture because Barcelona have long since been crowned champions, with 12 points to spare over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, while Real Sociedad will finish in the middle of the pack whatever happens here.
The Basque club finished in the top nine in both of the previous seasons but are unlikely to achieve that again, most likely occupying their worst position since ending up 12th in 2014-15 when David Moyes was in charge.
When they host Barcelona at their own Anoeta Stadium, Sociedad have a pretty decent record in recent years although they were beaten 4-2 there in January when Luis Suarez helped himself to a double.
In fairness to Sociedad, they have improved since Imanol Alguacil was appointed their manager in place of Eusebio Sacristan in mid-March, winning five of their eight games under the man who has worked his way up the ranks at the club, but this is a very difficult proposition and a narrow defeat is the best they can hope for.