Barcelona looking to keep up their opening day record against Real Sociedad even without Messi

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When Barcelona take on Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on Sunday, they’ll be doing so with one eye on continuing their recent historic run, both against their Basque opponents and for their opening day run of wins.

It’s likely to be a strange atmosphere for two reasons. Firstly, it’ll be the first game that the team will have played without Lionel Messi in over 15 years, and secondly, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Camp Nou is expected to be less than a third full.

Any atmosphere could well be slanted towards the club’s sale of Messi too, which might make for an uncomfortable evening.

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In any event, the weight of history remains firmly in their favour.

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According to Sport, Real Sociedad haven’t beaten the Catalans in Barcelona since 1991, and have lost on all of the last 23 visits.

Furthermore, if Barca are able to emerge victorious from Sunday’s fixture, it will be the 10th Camp Nou league debut in a row which they will have won. The last time anyone got so much as a point at Barcelona on opening day was back in 2002/03 when Atletico Madrid earned a 2-2 draw.

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