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Barcelona : Real Sociedad coach David Moyes faces his biggest La Liga challenge yet when second-placed Barcelona visit on Sunday and says his players have shown they are capable of beating the best.
The former Manchester United manager took charge of the relegation-threatened club in November. Since then they have lost only once but also have just one victory from five league matches.
Moyes wants to win a place in Europe next season although Sociedad are down in 14th place, two points off the relegation zone.
The Basque club have proved this season they can rise to the occasion against stronger sides, having beaten Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at home before Moyes took over.
Barca also have a poor record in Sociedad where they have not won in the last four visits. They lost there last season.
“If we can play as well as we did in those two games (against Real and Atletico) we have a good chance of winning,” Moyes told a news conference on Friday.
“We face a very good team who are very competitive but the players have shown they can beat Barcelona and they need to do it again. We want to have a great start to the New Year and beat Barca and do all we can to start moving up the table,” said Moyes.
“I know the Barcelona players from when I was in England. I watched them play the 2011 Champions League final against Manchester United at Wembley. They are a great team and (Lionel) Messi is very special but they have household names in all positions.”
While Sociedad have looked more solid at the back in recent games, it has come at a price as they are struggling to create chances going forward.
“We will go out looking to be hard to beat and then when we have the ball we will look to cause Barcelona damage,” said Moyes.
“They are undoubtedly a very good side and we respect that but they have to come to Anoeta and we need to make it difficult for them.”