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Primera División

  • 26 August 2012
  • • 18:00
  • • Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona (Iruñea)
  • Referee: César Muñiz Fernández
  • • Attendance: 15691
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Osasuna - Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants braced for tough trip to Pamplona

Osasuna - Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants braced for tough trip to Pamplona

Lionel Messi metió el segundo de penal / Getty

The Blaugrana will look to continue their dominant start to the season when they travel to El Sadar to face Jose Luis Mendilibar's hard-working side

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS

OSASUNA

Andres
Bertran, Arribas, Flano, Damia
Punal, Loe
Cejudo, Nino, Sisi
Llorente
BARCELONA

Valdes
Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Alba
Fabregas, Busquets, Iniesta
Tello, Messi, Sanchez


Osasuna midfielder Emiliano Armenteros is struggling with a groin injury and is set to miss Sunday's Primera Division encounter with Barcelona.

The Navarrese outfit, who lost their opening Liga fixture at newly-promoted Deportivo La Coruna, will also be without defender Nano (thigh).

Midfielder Anthony Annan may feature after arriving on loan from Bundesliga side Schalke on Thursday.

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova could name a much-changed side from the XI that secured a 3-2 win over Real Madrid in Thursday's Spanish Supercopa first leg.

New signing Alex Song is lacking match sharpness but may make his debut off the bench, while David Villa could be handed his first start for the club since December 2011.

Midfielder Thiago may be forced to miss out again with a tibia injury that kept him out of the Olympics.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Osasuna have won just one of their last eight meetings with Barcelona in all competitions (W1, D1, L6).
  • That victory came when the sides last met in February at El Sadar, with a Dejan Lekic double handing the home side a 3-2 win.
  • Osasuna have not lost back-to-back games in La Liga since April, when they were beaten by Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.
  • Barcelona have won three of their last five encounters with Osasuna at El Sadar across all competitions.
  • By scoring against Real Madrid on Thursday, Lionel Messi became Barca's joint-highest top-scorer in Clasicos with 14 goals, equalling Cesar Rodriguez's tally in the fixture.
  • Cesc Fabregas (pictured right) made his 50th appearance for Barcelona in the 3-2 win over Madrid.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Andrés FernándezGoalkeeper
2Marc BertránDefender
31ArribasDefender
24DamiàDefender
4Miguel FlañoDefender
10Patxi PuñalMidfielder
11SisiMidfielder
16Álvaro CejudoMidfielder
23Raoul Cédric LoeMidfielder
9Joseba LlorenteStriker
14Roland LamahMidfielder
1Asier RiesgoGoalkeeper
5Manuel Ortiz ToribioMidfielder
15OierDefender
21Roberto TorresMidfielder
33TimorMidfielder
9Kike SolaStriker
7NinoStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
3PiquéDefender
5Carles PuyolDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10Lionel MessiStriker
37TelloStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
21AdrianoDefender
6XaviMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
7PedroStriker
Players to Watch
Raoul Cédric Loe
Raoul Cédric Loe
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The young Frenchman was employed as a deep-lying ball-winner in the 2-0 opening Liga defeat at Deportivo and is likely to be given a similar role on Sunday. Loe will need to be on his toes throughout to restrict the space between the lines that the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta operate in and force Barcelona out of their comfort zone.
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Spain international was outstanding in Thursday's Supercopa triumph as he ran Real Madrid ragged all night with slaloming runs and clever passes. Iniesta enjoys what appears to be an almost telepathic understanding with Messi and Xavi, and his mere presence on the field elevates Barcelona's play into another dimension.
Prediction
Osasuna are still trying to integrate new players into their team but are more than capable of raising their game for the big occasion in front of their own fans. The visitors were hugely impressive in the Supercopa win over Real Madrid but may suffer from fatigue having played in the sweltering Catalan heat just 72 hours earlier.
Editor's Prediction

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