Madrid, Feb 3 (IANS) FC Barcelona have a must-win game against Real Sociedad in the Spanish Primera Liga football Saturday.
Barca are already seven points behind league leaders Real madrid and cannot afford to lose more ground.
Barcelona go into the game on the back of a tough Copa del Rey semi-final first leg away to Valencia Wednesday and with little time for the players to recover, they now play a match they have no option other than to win.
Barcelona’s draw in Villarreal last Saturday saw them slip to seven points behind a Real Madrid team that has dropped just eight points all season.
If the gap should open any further at the top of the table, it would be almost impossible for Barca to win the title.
Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Ibrahim Affelay and Andreu Fontas are all injured, while Seydou Keita is still away playing in the African Nations Cup. Guardiola was forced to include three B-team players in his squad Wednesday and will do the same for this weekend.
The only concession that the Barca coach made in the Cup was resting Xavi Hernandez and Dani Alves and they will go straight into Saturday’s team with Thiago Alcantara dropping to the bench along with Isaac Cuenca, who signed a new contract with the club during the week.
Adriano could also get a start with either Gerard Pique or Carlos Puyol rested ahead of the semi-final return leg.
Real Sociedad travel to Barcelona four points above the relegation zone, but on the back of a 5-1 thrashing of Sporting Gijon last weekend, which took the pressure off coach Philippe Montanier after a 0-4 home defeat to Atletico Madrid.