La Liga Preview: Osasuna - Barcelona
Pep Guardiola's side are back on La Liga duty after successfully progressing to the Copa del Rey final as they travel to face Jose Luis Mendilibar's men in Pamplona
By Martin Macdonald
Bertran, Flano, Segio, Satrustegui
Damia, Nekounam, Garcia
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Mascherano, Thiago
Messi, Cesc, Sanchez
Sergio Busquets is doubtful for Barcelona after he suffered a nasty gash to the knee in last weekend's win over Real Sociedad and missed the Copa del Rey semi-final victory against Valencia on Wednesday. The Spain international did train on Thursday but may not be fully fit.
Pedro is also lacking match fitness after only recently returning to training after a knee injury and Barca are still without long-term absentees Andreu Fontas, Ibrahim Afellay, and David Villa.
On a positive note, Andres Iniesta made a cameo appearance in midweek and could be in contention to feature against Osasuna. Victor Valdes will be restored to the starting XI in replace of Jose Pinto.
Jose Luis Mendilibar has a few first team players who are absent for the match at Reyno de Navarra. Masoud Shojaei and Kike Sola continue to exercise apart from their team-mates and are still to resume full training with the squad.
Javier Calleja and Alvara Cejudo did, however, train with the rest of the squad this week as they continue their rehabilitation.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- The last match between Barcelona and Osasuna ended in a 2-1 victory for the Catalan side in the Copa del Rey in January. Alexis Sanchez and Sergi Roberto both scored to seal the win.
- After the victory over Valencia on Wednesday that saw progression in the Copa del Rey, Pep Guardiola has led his side to 12 finals in three and a half years in charge.
- In the last three meetings against Osasuna, Barcelona have scored 14 times.
- Osasuna have not collected a victory in nine games. Their last win came against Villarreal on December 18th.
- Jose Luis Mendilibar's men are currently 9th in La Liga after notching up 28 points from 21 games played.
- Osasuna have the third worst goal difference in La Liga. They have scored 23 goals but conceded 33 so far.
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Top 3 Predictions
Osasuna 0-3 Barcelona
- 19.75 %
Osasuna 0-4 Barcelona
- 13.58 %
Osasuna 1-3 Barcelona
- 7.54 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||19 Oct 2013||Osasuna 0 - Barcelona 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||27 Jan 2013||Barcelona 5 - Osasuna 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||26 Aug 2012||Osasuna 1 - Barcelona 2|
|La Liga (LIGA)||11 Feb 2012||Osasuna 3 - Barcelona 2|
|Copa del Rey (ESPC)||12 Jan 2012||Osasuna 1 - Barcelona 2|
|8 Dec 2013||Málaga 3 - Osasuna 3||ESPC|
|1 Dec 2013||Valencia 3 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|22 Nov 2013||Valladolid 0 - Osasuna 1||LIGA|
|8 Nov 2013||Osasuna 0 - UD Almería 1||LIGA|
|2 Nov 2013||Real Sociedad 5 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|5||Manuel Ortiz Toribio||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
The Osasuna captain will likely be employed just in front of his defence against Barca so he must be on top of his game if he is to squeeze the space and act as an effective shield for the back line.
Came back into the first XI for the victory over Valencia in the cup and instantly added his class to the proceedings and grabbed an excellent goal. Expect him to be the orchestrator of the match and pick out passes at will.
Barca have scored 14 goals in their last three games against Osasuna so the Catalans will probably have little problem in breaking down the defence of the home side. The hosts obviously need to keep things tight at the back but their recent form suggests this will be a comfortable victory for Pep Guardiola's side.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed