Barcelona vs Real Sociedad: Ernesto Valverde’s Best Available Blaugrana Lineup

Barcelona play their La Liga fixture versus Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou this Saturday afternoon with the triple still very much on the cards.

Ernesto Valverde’s side dismissed Manchester United in their Champions League quarter-final in midweek, a Lionel Messi double and a second-half Philippe Coutinho strike securing a 4-0 aggregate win. Last weekend the Catalans were held 0-0 in league action by Huesca, though they still have a sizeable nine point advantage over Atletico Madrid in second place.

Sociedad are in midtable obscurity after an inconsistent run of form, the Basques currently sitting in 10th position in the table.

Here’s the lineup Valverde could go with for the clash.

Goalkeeper & Defenders

Gerard Pique

Marc-André ter Stegen (GK) – The German has now reached 20 clean sheets this campaign after two shut outs during ​Barça’s 4-0 aggregate ​Champions League victory against ​United, a fine total for the 26-year-old.

Sergi Roberto (RB) – Though he lacks a yard of pace, Roberto is an excellent make-shift right-back for Valverde. He offers composure and dependability in a high-pressure position that he is less accustomed to.

Gerard Pique (CB) – After missing the ​La Liga stalemate against Huesca last weekend, Pique returned for the quarter-final clash with the Red Devils, keeping the opposition quiet bar an opening minute opportunity for Marcus Rashford.

Samuel Umtiti (CB) – The Frenchman has found his regular place in the side taken by Clément Lenglet but could feature against Real Sociedad as Valverde rotates his lineup.

Jordi Alba (LB) – 16 assists in all competitions is a superb total for Alba who has developed into one of world football’s top attacking full-backs since switching to the Camp Nou in 2012.



Arturo Vidal (CM) – Another who is likely to benefit from a reshuffling of personnel, Vidal has struggled to make the desired impact at Barcelona. That is more due to the eminent talent of Sergio Busquets than any major failings on the former ​Juventus man’s part.

Ivan Rakitić (RCM) – The 31-year-old possesses wonderful passing and shooting abilities, making him crucial figure in Valverde’s set-up. Rakitić has done well in filling the gaping void left by the legendary Andrés Iniesta’s departure last summer.

Arthur (LCM) – The €31m purchase of the Brazilian is looking like a shrewd acquisition given the mad state of the transfer market of late. He has offered little in the final third, yet makes the side tick from deep with his marvellous array of passing.


Lionel Messi,Ashley Young

Lionel Messi (RW) – Jürgen Klopp has​ admitted his concerns regarding the magnificent Messi and his potency in front of goal when ​Liverpool face the Catalans in the Champions League semi-finals. He has netted 45 times in yet another incredible year at the Camp Nou, making it clear why the Reds boss has earmarked him as a potential decider in their clash. 

Ousmane Dembélé (LW) – Since arriving from​ Borussia Dortmund in 2017, Dembélé has had a decidedly mixed time. His debut season was written off after a serious injury, though the Frenchman has followed up with a stellar showing of footballing intelligence and dangerous dribbling this time round.

Luis Suárez (ST) – The ex-​Premier League superstar has been productive in terms of goals and assists, amassing 23 and 12 in all competitions, respectively. He will be eager to show his former employers Liverpool what they’re missing when they play at the start of May.