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Osasuna v Barcelona Preview: LaLiga Match Preview, Where to watch and more

  • Barcelona cannot afford any more slip-ups and lose further ground early on in La Liga, will Osasuna prove to be a potential banana skin?
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:19 IST

FC Barcelona got their first points of the season against Real Betis
FC Barcelona got their first points of the season against Real Betis

Barcelona cannot afford another stutter to the start of their La Liga campaign. They may have fulfilled most of their quota with the loss to Athletic Bilbao on the first day of the season.

This doesn't seem like a likely place where they would typically fumble. In just the last five meetings between the sides, Barcelona have scored 22 times and conceded just two. Barcelona won on four of those occasions and were held to draw just once.

That goalless draw in 2013 is significant because they denied the Blaugrana at El Sadar as Lionel Messi started from the bench. On that day, they were the first team to deny Barcelona any points that season. They will hope to take points away from the giants this time as well, but they don't seem to have the side to pull it off.

Given the strength of this Barcelona side, they should easily brush aside Osasuna, even at home. Although, whenever Messi isn't in the line-up, things always start to look more tentative for the Cules.

Kickoff Information

Date: 31 August 2019

Time: 8:30 pm

Venue: El Sadar

Referee: N/A

Live Stream: La Liga Facebook page


Form Guide (including friendlies)

In 2013, Messi came off the bench, but couldn
In 2013, Messi came off the bench, but couldn't affect the scoreline

Osasuna: W-D-L-W-D

Barcelona: W-W-W-L-W

Head-to-Head (Since 2011)

Osasuna: 1

Barcelona: 10

Draw: 1

Key Players

Ezequiel Avila

There are very few goals in this Osasuna team. They outscored every side in the Segunda Division last season, but that amounted to a total of 59 goals. Respectable as that may be, there's likely to be a drop-off in the top division. Ezequiel Avila and former Barcelona player Marc Cardona have both returned from loans this summer and are part of the Osasuna squad for the season. If the home side are going to pull off an unexpected result, they will need these strikers to fire.

Antoine Griezmann

With 2 goals and an assist against Real Betis, Griezmann is showing his ability to control games
With 2 goals and an assist against Real Betis, Griezmann is showing his ability to control games

The Frenchman was always going to bolster the firepower of this Barcelona side, but in the absence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, he has to step up and shoulder the bulk of the attacking burden. Played on the wings against Athletic in the opener he was largely ineffective, but he showed against Betis that he can cause havoc when played through the middle as he did for Atleti (for the most part). It's important that Griezmann keeps delivering because if Barcelona falter for too long without Messi, they may find themselves facing a steep uphill task when he returns.

Key Match Facts

Osasuna are unbeaten at home in their last 5 fixtures (W2 D3), but they failed to win any of the 15 home games before that (D5 L10).

Barcelona have not won their last three away games (D1 L2). They have not lost four away games in a row since 2008.

Betting Odds (from Bet365)

Osasuna: 10.00

Draw: 5.00

Barcelona: 1.33

Published 30 Aug 2019, 14:09 IST
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