Copa del Rey Preview: Osasuna - Barcelona
Pep Guardiola's men head into the second leg of their round of 16 fixture with a healthy 4-0 lead as they look to secure their place in the quarter-finals
By Luke Matthews
Damia, Flano, Sergio, Satrustegui
Nekounam, Raul Garcia, Timor
Lamah, Ibrahima, Torres
Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Adriano
Iniesta, Busquets, Thiago
Cuenca, Fabregas, Pedro
Jose Luis Mendilibar has several injury problems going into the game and will be without Roversio, Kike Sola, Ruben, Jukka Raitala and Ion Echaide, although Raul Garcia could pass a late fitness test to start in midfield.
The home side could give a number of younger players an opportunity, with Roberto Torres and Eneko Satrustegui in line for starts against the Primera Division giants.
With Barcelona holding a commanding lead going into the second leg, Pep Guardiola could use the game to rotate his squad. Jose Manuel Pinto will replace Victor Valdes in goal to resume his usual starting role in Copa del Rey fixtures.
Adriano could start at left-back in place of Eric Abidal with Maxwell apparently close to moving to French club Paris Saint-Germain. Seydou Keita has now joined up with his Malian team-mates for the African Cup of Nations, and Thiago could come into the midfield.
The Catalan club are likely to go into the game with a rotated frontline with the newly crowned Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi, in line for a rest. Isaac Cuenca could also start the game after rejoining the Barcelona first squad after a recent spell training with the B team.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Osasuna have never won the Copa del Rey title yet the club were runners-up in 2005, losing to Real Betis 2-1.
- The side from Navarre are currently fifth in La Liga, four points behind Levante who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot.
- Jose Luis Mendilibar's team have conceded 12 goals against the reigning European and Liga champions this season in only two meetings.
- Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas both grabbed braces to give Barcelona a commanding 4-0 lead heading into the second leg of the tie.
- Despite their loss in last season's Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid, the Catalans are the most successful side in Spanish cup history, with 25 triumphs.
- In three Copa games this season, Guardiola's men have scored 14 goals and are yet to concede.
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Top 3 Predictions
Osasuna 0-3 FC Barcelona
- 15.81 %
Osasuna 0-5 FC Barcelona
- 14.09 %
Osasuna 0-4 FC Barcelona
- 11.17 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 19, 2013||Osasuna 0 - FC Barcelona 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 27, 2013||FC Barcelona 5 - Osasuna 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 26, 2012||Osasuna 1 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 11, 2012||Osasuna 3 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 12, 2012||Osasuna 1 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Mar 1, 2014||Levante 2 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|Feb 23, 2014||Osasuna 3 - Atletico Madrid 0||LIGA|
|Feb 14, 2014||Elche 0 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|Feb 9, 2014||Osasuna 2 - Getafe 0||LIGA|
|Feb 3, 2014||Villarreal 3 - Osasuna 1||LIGA|
|5||Manuel Ortiz Toribio||Midfielder|
|23||Raoul Cédric Loe||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|-||Andreu Fontàs Prat||Defender|
If Osasuna are to cause a massive shock and get back into the tie, the young striker will need to be in top form to cause the Barcelona defence problems.
With Guardiola expected to rotate his squad, Thiago could be left with the responsibility to provide creativity for the visitors on Thursday as they look to return to winning ways after their derby draw at the weekend in Liga.
It is difficult to see anything other than a comprehensive victory for Barcelona. With the Catalan club holding a 4-0 lead from the first leg, Osasuna will essentially be playing for pride, bu with an injury-plagued squad, expect more goals for Pep Guardiola's men.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed