Osasuna - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Marcelo Bielsa's side hoping to break into top four with victory at the Reyno de Navarra
Buoyed by their midweek exploits against Manchester United, the in-form Basque outfit resume their quest for Champions League football with a tricky trip to Pamplona
By Karthick Arvinth
Roversio, Sergio, Flano, Raitala
Cejudo, Garcia, Lamah
Iraola, San Jose, Martinez, Aurtenetxe
Iturraspe, Herrera, De Marcos
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
Osasuna coach Jose Luis Mendilibar has a selection crisis in attack with Ibrahima Balde and Dejan Lekic both out injured, leaving Nino as the only fit striker available for Sunday's visit of Athletic Bilbao.
Last season's top scorer, Kike Sola, who has been sidelined since December with patellar tendinitis, underwent surgery on his knee on Thursday and has been ruled out of action for the remainder of the season.
Mendilibar will also be forced into changes in midfield, with Masoud Shojaei and Lolo out injured, while David Timor is suspended.
Meanwhile, right-back Marc Bertran is a doubt for the match with a sprained ankle although the side have been received a boost as captain Patxi Punal is available again after serving a one-match suspension.
Ander Iturraspe returns from domestic suspension for Athletic, who have almost a full squad to choose from for their trip to Navarre.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Osasuna have won just two of their last 12 matches in all competitions.
- Los Rojillos have suffered just two league defeats at the Reyno de Navarra all season.
- Jose Luis Mendilibar (pictured right) had a brief coaching spell at Athletic Bilbao in 2005.
- Athletic Bilbao are on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W4, D1).
- The Basques have won five of their last seven encounters with Osasuna.
- Athletic could climb to fourth on the Primera Division standings with victory on Sunday, provided Levante fail to win at Malaga.
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Top 3 Predictions
Osasuna 1-2 Athletic de Bilbao
- 15.85 %
Osasuna 1-1 Athletic de Bilbao
- 13.42 %
Osasuna 1-3 Athletic de Bilbao
- 12.2 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 23, 2013||Athletic de Bilbao 2 - Osasuna 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 2, 2013||Osasuna 0 - Athletic de Bilbao 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 7, 2012||Athletic de Bilbao 1 - Osasuna 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 11, 2012||Osasuna 2 - Athletic de Bilbao 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 17, 2011||Athletic de Bilbao 3 - Osasuna 1|
|Dec 17, 2013||Osasuna 1 - Malaga 1||ESPC|
|Dec 14, 2013||Osasuna 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|Dec 8, 2013||Malaga 3 - Osasuna 3||ESPC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Valencia CF 3 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|Nov 22, 2013||Valladolid 0 - Osasuna 1||LIGA|
|23||Raoul Cédric Loe||Midfielder|
|6||Mikel San José Domínguez||Defender|
|10||Óscar De Marcos||Midfielder|
|13||Raúl Fernández Mateos||Goalkeeper|
Times In WAT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed