La Liga Preview: Can Barcelona Repeat the 5-0 Magic Against Real Sociedad?

Xavier GonzalezContributor ISeptember 9, 2011

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 22:  Lionel Messi (L) and Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona chat during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli at the Camp Nou Stadium on August 22, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Sociedad vs Barcelona

Despite not having the best preseason, Barcelona clearly showed that they have not lost the magic touch, as they thrashed Villarreal by five goals on the opening day of the Spanish season.

It certainly does not provide a great amount of hope for Real Sociedad, who may have started the season with a win, but they need to extract the maximum performance if they are to win—or even take any sort of a result—against Barcelona.

However, they can be extremely confident looking at the recent results.

Real Sociedad managed to create one of the very few defeats for Barcelona when they visited the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta last season.

The 2-1 win back in April will still be in the memory of both Barcelona and Real Sociedad, which is likely to spur Pep Guardiola's men to a great performance against Real Sociedad.

Barcelona will be without both Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol, which is something that can once again work in the favour of Real Sociedad. Real Sociedad could hand the new signing Mcdonald Mariga his debut, while Illarramendi is expected to be a key figure in the midfield.

Villarreal vs Sevilla

Villarreal came on the wrong end of a thrashing against Barcelona on the opening day of the season. It is something that they will be looking to erase from them memory as soon as possible given that they have a busy fixture period coming up.

Villarreal will also need to have one eye on the group stages of the Champions League against Bayern Munich, which begins next week.

In the meantime, Sevilla will be providing the important resistance for Villarreal in their fight to get their first points on the board. The inconsistency that the club has shown prior to the start of the season definitely seems to have affected the club.

However, they can return with a bang with a victory against Sevilla, which does not look beyond the means, as Sevilla themselves have not been too consistent in getting positive results during the pre-season.

The fact that Sevilla do not have any midweek fixture clogging up their fixture list is certainly advantageous to the visiting team, but Villarreal can certainly make use of the home advantage.

The last encounter between the two sides at the Camp El Madrigal ended in a 3-3 draw. It is highly unlikely that both teams will be going out for each other in such a similar fashion given Villarreal's last result.

Real Madrid vs Getafe

Real Madrid managed to better Barcelona on the opening day of the season by thrashing their opponents 6-0 rather than 5-0.

The 6-0 thrashing of Real Zaragoza was certainly a great way to begin the season, but José Mourinho is unlikely to get carried with such a result.

One can have no doubt that José Mourinho will also be having one eye on the group stages of the Champions League, which begins from next week with the match against Dinamo Zagreb.

Compared to Real Madrid's 6-0 win over Real Zaragoza, Getafe had a relatively less exciting encounter in their opening match.

They could only draw against Levante, and they certainly are not the favourites to get anything from the match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite scoring in the international round of fixtures, Gonzalo Higuain looks set to continue on the bench, with Karim Benzema—who also scored—being the preferred striker for José Mourinho.

Getafe coach Luis Garcia Plaza is certainly struggling with a lot of injuries, which could result in a makeshift team for this match, which will certainly play into the hands of Real Madrid.

Valencia vs Atletico Madrid

Valencia managed to come out on the right side of the thrilling 4-3 match against Racing Santander on the opening day of the season.

Despite losing star players, Valencia have managed to enter into the Champions League, but they are likely to take their first group match against Genk lightly.

More focus is set to be devoted to the Atletico Madrid match, which becomes far more important due to the signings that Atletico Madrid have made in the summer.

Despite losing star players in the form of Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan, Atletico Madrid wasted no time in strengthening the squad.

Atletico Madrid could only draw their opening match against Osasuna, which certainly puts manager Gregorio Manzano under pressure when they face Valencia.

This is among the toughest encounters that they will be facing throughout the season, and should Atletico Madrid come out with three points, it would certainly be a major boost for the rest of the season.

However, it is most likely that manager Gregorio Manzano will regard even a point from this difficult away fixture to be positive.

The club also has to look forward to the Europa League match against Celtic.