For the first time in 17 years, FC Barcelona will set out on their La Liga without the firepower of Lionel Messi in their ranks. Sunday’s fixture against Real Sociedad marks a new era for the Catalan club — a Messi-less era.

Manager Ronald Koeman will be hoping to start the season off on the right note, although the club has innumerable problems to tackle off the page. The Dutch boss has lined his side up in a traditional 4-3-3 for the season opener.

Coming as a respite to Barcelona fans, both their new signings Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay have been successfully registered into their squad and will be starting against Real Sociedad.

FC Barcelona (4-3-3)

For the Catalan club, Gerard Pique and Garcia will form the centre-back pairing while Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Frenkie De Jong will try to control the centre of the park. Upfront, Depay, Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite will provide a lot of mobility to Barcelona and will cause a lot of problems for the Sociedad defence. 

FC Barcelona Lineup:  Neto, Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite, Memphis Depay.

Real Sociedad (4-4-2)

Meanwhile, the white and blues are playing with a free-flowing front four in the attack. Portu and Adnan Januzaj will look to provide the width, while David Silva and Mikel Oyarzabal bamboozle the Barca backline with their frequent positioning switching. 

Manager Imanol Alguacil can fall back to young winger Ander Barrenetxea to provide some intensity and firepower in the second half. 

Real Sociedad Lineup: Alex Remiro, Aihen Munoz, Robin Le Normand, Aritiz Elustondo, Joseba Zaldua, Martin Zubimendi, Mikel Merino, Portu, David Silva, Adnan Januzaj, Mikel Oyarzabal