MADRID, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — FC Barcelona face Real Sociedad in the first semifinal of the Spanish Supercup on Wednesday.
Although the game was due to be played in Saudi Arabia, it will now be played in the Archangel Stadium in Cordoba, with the winner to meet either Athletic Club Bilbao or Real Madrid at the Estadio de la Cartuja in Seville on Sunday.
Barcelona goes into the game in probably their best form of the season after three consecutive away wins have lifted them to third place in La Liga while showing that Leo Messi is returning to his best form and developing an understanding with 18-year-old Pedri.
Those two are likely to start on Wednesday, along with Ousmane Dembele, who has also been producing his best form since joining Barca in the last few games.
Barca coach Ronald Koeman is still without long-term injuries Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati, and Philippe Coutinho. Still, there is a chance central defender Ronald Araujo will be available after suffering a slight muscle problem in the warm-up before Saturday’s 4-0 in Granada.
If Araujo is fit, he could return to the starting 11, although Koeman could choose to rest him in case his side reaches Sunday’s final. Real Sociedad travel to Cordoba in arguably their worst moment of the campaign and with just one win in their last 11 games.
Saturday’s 3-2 defeat away to Sevilla showed that Imanol Alguacil’s side still poses a threat in attack with Alexander Isak, Portu, Adnan Janujaz, William Jose and Mikel Oyarzabal.
Jose and Janujaz didn’t start at the weekend, and depending on Imanol’s priorities, both could be in the starting line-up against Barca. Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 2-1 in the Camp Nou Stadium when the two sides met in La Liga shortly before Christmas.
The first half saw Barca play some flowing football, while ‘la Real’ dominated the second 45 minutes, and a repeat of that game would mean an entertaining semifinal on Wednesday.