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?
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.
Date: 31 August 2019
Time: 8:30 pm
Venue: El Sadar
Live Stream: La Liga Facebook page
Form Guide (including friendlies)
Head-to-Head (Since 2011)
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.
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)
Barcelona: 1.33Published 30 Aug 2019, 14:09 IST