10′ Now that the early pressing phase appears to be over, Sociedad have settled into what looks like a 5-4-1 shape. Let’s see how that plays out for them.
8′ Dembele swings the ball in from the right but it’s well cleared by Monreal who took a sore one from Braithwaite in the process.
7′ Monreal catches Griezmann and concedes a free-kick. The Frenchman is down momentarily but he’s fine to continue.
6′ Barcelona enjoy a brief spell of possession but they’re being swarmed at every opportunity. The game has yet to settle.
4′ CHANCE! The White and Blues go close when Isak gets on the end of a good cross from the right. Ter Stegen would likely have had it covered had the header been on target but that’s an early warning for the visitors.
3′ The opening exchanges have been scrappy with neither side really able to bring the ball under control. The hosts are pressing high and with energy which has Barcelona unsettled.
1′ The referee blows his whistle and Barcelona get us underway here at the Nuevo Arcangel.
The players are emerging from the tunnel and kick-off is moments away!
Opposite number Ronald Koeman has also made three changes from the side that thumped Granada. Araujo and Lenglet join the defence in place of Dest and Umtiti, but the big news is that Lionel Messi is out. The Argentinian appeared to signal to the bench that he wanted to be taken off late on against Granada so perhaps he is nursing a slight knock. Braithwaite starts through the middle in his place with Dembele and Griezmann either side.
Imanol Alguacil has made three changes to his starting XI. Monreal returns after a spell on the sidelines, slotting in for Munoz at left-back, while beside him starts Le Normand with Sagnan dropping to the bench. The only other change comes in midfield with Guevara preferred ahead of Zubimendi in the middle of the park. David Silva remains out.
BARCELONA SUBS: Miralem Pjanic, Inaki Pena, Neto, Samuel Umtiti, Trincao, Junior Firpo, Riqui Puig, Ilaix Moriba, Sergino Dest.
BARCELONA (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite, Antoine Griezmann.
REAL SOCIEDAD SUBS: Joseba Zaldua, Jon Bautista, Aihen Munoz, Ander Barrenetxea, Willian Jose, Modibo Sagnan, Martin Zubimendi, Adnan Januzaj, Gaizka Ayesa.
REAL SOCIEDAD (4-3-3): Alex Remiro; Andoni Gorosabel, Igor Zubeldia, Robin Le Normand, Nacho Monreal; Jon Guridi, Ander Guevara, Mikel Merino; Portu, Alexander Isak, Mikel Oyarzabal.
It’s a completely different story for their opponents who enter the contest on an eight-game unbeaten run. Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann both bagged a brace in a 4-0 win over Granada last time out that moved La Blaugrana up to third in the La Liga standings – albeit they remain seven points behind Atletico Madrid having played two more games. However, the focus will be away from that for now as they look to progress into another final.
The 37th Spanish Supercopa begins as the White and Blues welcome a rejuvenated Barcelona. After a promising start to the 2020-21 domestic campaign, the hosts now find themselves on a dismal run having picked up just one win from their last 12 matches in all competitions. In their most recent outing, they lost 3-2 away to Sevilla so maybe a two-week break to focus on cup competitions is just what they need.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Spanish Supercopa semi-final meeting between Real Sociedad and Barcelona from the Nuevo Arcangel.