Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (L) fights for the ball against Diego Rivas of Real Sociedad during the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Barcelona. The Blaugranas and La Real play again on February 4, 2012. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona and Real Sociedad are both littered with injury issues ahead of the Blaugranas' must-win game at Camp Nou.
Barcelona aren't in terrific form by their standards and they're still missing a number of senior players through injury, but they'll be expecting nothing less than a comfortable win at Camp Nou on Saturday. When the Blaugranas played Real Sociedad earlier in the year at Anoeta, La Real fought to a 2-2 draw in a thrilling match. The rematch in Catalonia should be a much different story.
Real Sociedad are coming off of a 5-1 victory over Sporting Gijon, while Barcelona are coming off of a disappointing 0-0 draw against Villarreal. The Blaugranas have been much better at Camp Nou, however, while Real Sociedad are missing a number of players. David Zurutuza -- who scored a brace last week -- and Gorka Elustondo are out. All of Imanol Agirretxe, Xabi Prieto, Alberto de la Bella and Vadim Demidov are not expected to play and definitely will not start.
Barcelona are without Andres Iniesta, but Thiago Alcantara has proven himself a more than capable replacement. Seydou Keita is still at the Africa Cup of Nations, while David Villa and Ibrahim Afellay remain long-term absentees.
Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad
Game Date/Time: Saturday, February 4, 4:00 0.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. local
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
TV: GolTV (USA and Canada), Sky Sports 4 (UK)
For more on the Blaugranas, check out FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.