Barcelona are back in action with another La Liga fixture this weekend as Xavi looks to rejuvenate a dejected Catalan camp in an important clash against Osasuna at El Sadar Stadium on Sunday. Osasuna are in 10th place in the La Liga standings and have been fairly inconsistent this season. The Pamplona-based outfit played out a 0-0 stalemate against Levante last week and will need to take it up a notch in this match. Osasuna can pack a punch on their day but have not been particularly impressive against the Blaugrana. Barcelona are the better team on paper and hold the upper hand going into this game.
Barcelona, on the other hand, are in seventh place in the league table at the moment and have struggled to impose themselves this season. The Catalan giants crashed out of the Champions League this week and will want to bounce back from their 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich. Barcelona have endured an abysmal season so far and will have to rely on Xavi’s tactical nous to rescue them this year. The Catalans have a series of important games this month and cannot afford another patch of poor form.
Following another embarrassment at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Barcelona continue their journey in La Liga, hoping to make a few amends. They will travel to Pamplona to take on Osasuna for gameweek 17. The squad is marred with injuries, with Memphis Depay falling as the latest victim. He is set to be out for a month and will not be travelling with the team. Unfortunately, he is the team’s top scorer this month and will be sorely missed.
A very interesting matchup for the upcoming La Liga round is the Osasuna vs Barcelona duel, so let’s take a closer look at this game and what we can expect from it. If you are not sure what is the right bet for the Osasuna vs Barcelona duel, you can check our top betting predictions for this game: It’s clear that Blaugrana is in crisis and even the managerial change didn’t help much since Barca was eliminated from the Champions League and they lost their previous game in La Liga against Betis at home. However, Osasuna is also on a bad run and they failed to win a game in the league in the last seven games. They are still in tenth place in the standings thanks to their good start of the season, but we can see Barcelona winning this match, just like they did in three of the last five matches against Osasuna.
Osasuna have won five, drawn six and lost five of their 16 La Liga matches this season to collect 21 points, which has left them in 10th position in the table, just two points behind their opponents this weekend.
Los Rojillos have finished 10th and 11th in their last two La Liga seasons, so it is not a surprise to see them in the top half at this stage, and as mentioned, a victory here would move them above Barcelona in the table.
Jordi Alba, too, suffered an injury relapse in Munich and fails to make the cut for the travelling list. Alba and Memphis join the likes of Ansu Fati, Pedri, Sergi Roberto, and others on the sidelines. Nico, Gavi, and Ez Abde are the three regulars that have been featuring regularly from the youth teams. But for the Osasuna clash, they are joined by Ferran Jutgla, who was training with the senior team this week.
Osasuna are actually winless in Spain’s top flight since the middle of October, drawing four and losing three of their last seven games at this level, including a 0-0 with Levante last weekend.
Jagoba Arrasate’s side did book their spot in the second round of the Copa del Rey earlier this month, though, recording a 4-0 victory over San Agustin to comfortably progress in the competition.
Osasuna have not beaten Barcelona on home soil in La Liga since February 2012, but they did record a famous 2-1 victory at Camp Nou in July 2020, and it would be fair to say that this is not a classic Blaugrana side.
Barcelona failed to qualify for the last-16 stage of the Champions League, instead dropping into the Europa League, courtesy of their 3-0 defeat at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, which opened the door for Benfica to secure second spot in Group E behind the Bundesliga champions.
Xavi had made a positive start at the helm, winning two of his first three matches, but the Catalan giants lost 1-0 at home to Real Betis in the league last weekend before suffering the three-goal defeat at Allianz Arena.
Barcelona are currently seventh in La Liga, 16 points behind leaders Real Madrid, meaning that their title hopes have already evaporated, but they are only six points off fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and will still believe that a top-four position is achievable despite their problems.
Xavi will have known the size of the task when he replaced Ronald Koeman, and the legendary midfielder needs to lift the players following Wednesday’s European disappointment, with three league games to come against Osasuna, Elche and Sevilla ahead of the winter break in Spain.
Blaugrana have only managed one away victory in La Liga this term, which came at Villarreal on November 27, but they beat Osasuna 2-0 in the corresponding match during the 2021-22 campaign.