La Liga 2019-20: Osasuna v Barcelona - Match Prediction
- Barcelona have a good record against Osasuna, but everything seems a bit uncertain without Lionel Messi.
Unsurprisingly, the player who has scored most goals for Barcelona against Osasuna is Lionel Messi (21). When the two sides meet on Saturday, Osasuna will have no illusions of their chances against the mighty Blaugrana, but stranger things have happened.
The newly promoted side have staved off defeat in the La Liga so far. A win on opening day against 10-man Leganes and a goalless draw against Eibar to follow has put Osasuna a point ahead of Barcelona in the early days of the 2019/20 La Liga season. In fact, they are among the only four sides who're yet to concede in the league so far.
Osasuna will hope to remain undefeated and keep the clean sheet, but it's unlikely that they come away unscathed from the match. Even without their talisman Leo Messi, Valverde's men have a strong attacking line-up that would severely test Osasuna's defensive integrity.
Barcelona cannot afford to lose points
There is plenty of talk in the background of this game at Barcelona about the potential return of the prodigal Brazilian, Neymar. It may entail the swap of some of the current squad members as well. Add to that the talk about Messi's injury worsening, questions being raised about Valverde early on, and discussions about this side's dependence on its Argentine talisman are taking place. It is clear that Barcelona need to keep winning.
In football, it seems, when you're winning, most other things become just conversation. If Barcelona fail to deliver the results, then they will once again be put under the microscope.
Having splashed the cash on Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong this summer, Barca are reaping the results of their summer business. But there's been no time allowed for the Frenchman or the Dutch midfielder to settle down. They have been asked to deliver from day one.
Although, they faltered at the very beginning, they will hope for much smoother sailing from here onwards.
Match Prediction: Osasuna 0-2 Barcelona
Published 30 Aug 2019, 13:56 IST