The fact that Barcelona have not lost a game by more than one goal all season is a pretty incredible stat and should give Tata Martino and his players a great deal of confidence for tomorrow. But the Barca boss is taking no chances and is set to name his strongest possible starting XI.
The second leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-final against Real Sociedad should see the new manager book a place in the final of a major competition at the first time of asking. I’m not including the Spanish Supercup victory over Atletico Madrid because Martino was not in charge to qualify for that.
Having reclaimed their place at the top of La Liga after just a single week, Barca just need to avoid a two goal defeat to make the final, but it is in San Sebastian and Real Sociedad, who are having a very good season, will throw everything at us tomorrow, which is why the boss has vowed, as reported by Sky Sports, to field his best possible line-up.
Martino said, “Each time there is less margin for error.
“We are at a crucial stage of the season and it’s clear that each time there will be fewer chances to make changes in the team, although we will try to give opportunities to players that are in good condition.”
Although Neymar is back in training with his teammates, the Brazilian is not ready for tomorrow’s game, but could feature at the weekend and be ready for Man City in the Champions League. With Iniesta and Messi looking in-form again and no major injury concerns, the new policy of rotation right from the start of the season looks like it is going to pay off for Martino.