Match Preview: Barcelona vs Osasuna
Teams: FC Barcelona, CA Osasuna
Tournament: La Liga, Round 4
Venue: Camp Nou
Time and Date: 14:00 Hrs, Saturday, CET
Referee: Antonio Mateu (Spanish)
After a confidence-boosting performance from youngsters in Champions League, Ronald Koeman’s side will be looking to bring the same momentum in La Liga.
Barcelona had traveled to Kyiv without Messi and De Jong for the Champions League match earlier this week. The injuries of Piqué and Roberto saw Barcelona start with a young lineup. They thrashed Kyiv 0-4 at their home.
Barcelona’s domestic league performances have been hugely disappointing so far. They’ve managed to pick just 11 points from the 8 matches in La Liga. It’s a completely different story in the Champions League, where they’ve already qualified by picking 12 points in just 4 matches.
On the other hand, Osasuna is just one position below Barça with the same 11 points, having played one more match. The Catalan giants are 12 points behind the league leaders Real Sociedad.
Osasuna is three games without a win and will be looking to upset the Koeman’s side Barcelona with a win.
Barcelona is just three points clear of the relegation zone, and it goes without saying that this is one of the worst starts to La Liga for the Blaugranas in many years. Koeman will be desperate to get back to winning ways if they are to win the league this year.
FORM GUIDE: (Last 5 Matches)
FC Barcelona (La Liga): L L D W L (11 Points)
FC Barcelona (In all competitions): W D W W L W
CA Osasuna: D W L L D (11 Points)
HEAD TO HEAD
Total Encounters: 17
Barcelona Win: 11
Osasuna Win: 3
Barcelona has won none of their last two meetings against Osasuna in La Liga (D1, L1), after winning the previous three while scoring 17 goals in total (conceding just one).
The Catalan giants lost their last home game against 10-man Osasuna in La Liga 1-2 in July. In their history, they have lost two consecutive games against Osasuna at home in the competition – in January 1988 and February 1989.
Sergio Busquets has completed full training on Friday morning. He is expected to play a part against Osasuna this weekend.
Barcelona will be playing without the services of Ansu Fati and Ronald Araújo due to injuries. Samuel Umtiti is doubtful to play against Osasuna, but with Koeman hinting about his return given the defensive crisis at Barcelona, he might get some minutes.
Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong, who was rested in the game against Dynamo, are expected to start against Osasuna.
Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto will be unavailable due to injuries they caught in the defeat against Atlético Madrid.
Sergiño Dest has muscle discomfort, and there are doubts about his participation on Sunday. Óscar Mingueza is most likely to take his place in Squad List.
After a brilliant performance in the Champions League win against Dynamo, it’ll be interesting to see how Koeman chooses to lineup against Osasuna on Sunday.
With Messi returning and Coutinho pushing for a starting XI position, Pedri will be most likely to start from the bench. He has already played many games for an 18-year-old, and Koeman is expected to go for the experience.
Óscar looks to have secured a starting position after he displays phenomenal defensive capabilities against Kyiv. Dest‘s position is doubtful as he reportedly has muscle discomfort.
Koeman has some big decisions to make, and the Catalan side needs to find their winning ways in the domestic league. Every game is a big one from this point in time.
Barcelona needs to perform better to rejuvenate the spirit, to keep their battle in Laliga alive. A win against Osasuna will boost the confidence of the team.
We’re playing at home this weekend, and I expect them to win this game comfortably though they’ll be under a lot of pressure. I’m still optimistic about this game, and I’ll go with a 3-0 victory for the Catalans.