Real Sociedad manager Eusebio Sacristan is convinced that his side can secure a positive result against Barcelona despite he will have up to seven first-team players unavailable for the clash against his former side. The Spanish manager has eventually been forced to leave out of his 18-man squad four of the players who started in the impressive victory at Sevilla last weekend as Iñigo Martinez and Carlos Martinez are injured, while Yuri and Markel Bergara are unavailable due to suspension.
The former Barcelona second team boss will thus have to restructure his defence almost in full as Iñigo Martinez, Carlos Martinez and Yuri formed the back-line at the Sanchez Pizjuan alongside Diego Reyes, with Bergara holding the midfield. The manager lamented the absence of Iñigo Martinez especially but is convinced that the squad can cope with his absence, with the likes of Mikel Gonzalez and Joseba Zaldua ready to step up.
"Iñigo is a very important for us, he is pivotal in our defence but we have to cope with the circumstances and we will do it with motivation. We are convinced that we will deploy a strong line-up," Eusebio said in the press conference despite Raul Navas, Sergio Canales, Imano Agirretxe and Oier Olazabal also remain on the sidelines for the game.
"We'll try to exploit our strengths and minimize Barcelona's, which are many. We'll have to be at our best to beat them," he stated.
The injury news at Real Sociedad are a boost for a Barcelona side that have failed to win at the Anoeta Stadium in their last six visits to San Sebastian, five in La Liga and one in the Copa Del Rey. The Catalans, who are without suspended Luis Suarez, will face former David Moyes squad just four days before their crucial Champions League second-leg quarter-final with Atletico Madrid.
Eusebio, nevertheless, doesn't expected a weakest Barcelona as know well Luis Enrique and is sure he will have his players fully focus in the La Liga encounter – especially after their last week defeat in El Clasico against Real Madrid have seen their league lead over Atletico Madrid dwindle to six points.
"Knowing Luis Enrique and his players they will not (be thinking in the Champions League encounter). The greatness of Barcelona in recent years is not only the greatness of their players and coaches, but also the intensity and concentration that they put in every game. We expect a strong Barca."