Barcelona breezed through to the last sixteen in the Champions League after an emphatic 4-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv at the second leg of the group stage. The Catalonia-based team are now 4/4 in the group G, as a result they sit at the top of the table ahead of Juventus — whom they defeated at Allianz Stadium in round two. So far, Barça have found their Champions League fixtures much easier than games in La Liga.
The Blaugrana were able to play their first three games without losing, they began their season with a 4-0 win over Villarreal where Ansu Fati contributed to the goal line by hitting a brace, thereafter followed a Messi penalty before an own goal from Torres sealed the win for the Messi-led side. Surprisingly, all four goals came with the first forty five minutes while the second half went by with no goals from either side.
Since then, Ronald Koeman has seen his team dip in the level of performance as they lost back to back games against Getafe (1-0) and the El Classico (1-3). Sitting thirteenth on the table is definitely not where the Catalan giants would like to be but it’s not too late for a turnaround and that would be the sole aim for the team when they take on Osasuna.
Osasuna’s record in previous games has been relatively poor, they come into this fixture on the back of two losses and a draw in three successive games against Huesca (1-1), Atletico (1-3), and Sevilla (1-0). Los Rojillos are behind their upcoming opponents, both with eleven points but the hosts being ahead on goal difference.
Jagoba has seen his team struggle to net in goals as they have eight of them in nine matches but have been able to also defend nicely with nine goals in all matches played, a record that suggests the defenders are doing a lot better than most teams in La Liga.
Barcelona – A handful of Barça players will be missing in action this weekend. Some may not return until the end of the year while others may return next month. Teenage sensation, Ansu Fati is expected to be out for at least four months while he undergoes surgery for a knee injury he received at the Betis’ fixture. A hamstring injury picked up against Juventus will see defender Ronald Araujo miss the line up but likely to make a comeback in a couple weeks.
Gerard Pique is still out with knee injury sustained at the last match with Atletico, Sergio Roberto has been sidelined for the rest of 2020 following a rupture in his femoral rectus of his right knee while Umtiti continues to deal with knee problems that has kept him out since the beginning of the season.
Messi and Frankie De Jong were absent from the squad that took on Dynamo Kyiv over at the Champions League during the week, both players are likely to feature here this weekend. Sergio Busquets completed full training on Friday morning and is expected to play a part against Osasuna.
Predicted Barça XI: Ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Pjanic; Coutinho, Messi, Dembele; Griezmann
Osasuna – The visitors have Chimy Avila, Brandon, David Garcia and Adrian Lopez all out of Saturday’s trip to Camp Nou while Jonathan Calleri, Aridane Hernandez, Juan Perez and Lucas Torro are doubtful.
However, the club coach still has a list of players to select seeing as Jon Moncayola, Enric Gallego and Nacho Vidal are all itching for a chance to make the side. Attacking duo of Ruben Garcia and Ante Budimir should both retain spots if Arrasate opts for 3-5-2 formation.
Predicted Osasuna XI: Herrera; Roncaglia, U Garcia, Navas; Vidal, Moncayola, Oier, Perez, Jony; Budimir, R Garcia
- Barcelona have won all homes games since the 2017/2018 season after taking the lead at halftime.
- Three out of four home goals that opened the scoring for Barcelona have been scored by Ousmane Dembélé.
- Barcelona failed to win both fixtures against Osasuna last season, picking up one point out of six (D1, L1).
Barcelona would be reminiscent of the last meeting between the two sides no thanks to Osasuna pulling a 2-1 upset at Camp Nou towards the end of last season. The hosts must be very keen to avoid a repeat of that event and as such will have to put their best foot forward when the time comes. The return of Messi could make all the difference though he was not missed at their most recent game.