Back to fix La Liga blip: Barcelona – Osasuna PreviewBy: Yazan | January 27th, 2013
Barcelona have been on fire in La Liga this season so far, having only dropped 2 points against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, before last week’s shock loss to Real Sociedad away from home. Between Pique’s red card and the shock 3 goals conceded, the team managed to put two great performances to know Malaga out of the Copa Del Rey. Now the team switch back to La Liga to take on Osasuna at the Camp Nou before turning their heads to the tie against Real Madrid mid-week in the CDR.
Osasuna head into this match on back of a dreadful run in La Liga having one only one match (last week against Deportivo) in their last 6 matches. Although they have the 4th strongest defense in the league, their main problem is scoring goals. This is something that luckily Barcelona do not have any problem in as the 4 goals scored against Malaga on Thursday helped this Barca team reach 100 goals in all competition this season.
The main question after Messi’s precaution substitution mid week against Malaga, will he or won’t he play against Osasuna. The other question, will Roura (or Vilanova) have one eye on the CDR Clasico match (sigh) and rest some players for this game. If it was up to me, and it isn’t I will go the below starting line-up:
Valdes – Montoya – Bartra – Mascherano – Adriano – Thiago – Song – Cesc – Villa – Alexis – Pedro.
Pique is obviously suspended after his red card against Real Sociedad. Mascherano was more or less terrible against Real Madrid in all three occasions we met them so far this season. I’d rather have Alves – Pique – Puyol – Alba as well as Messi Xavi and Iniesta all fresh for the trip to the Bernabeu. If the team I put above cannot win the match against the team in the 18th position in La Liga, quite frankly they don’t deserve to be in the team.
Villa needs this sort of match to get his rhythm back after his latest layoff. While Alexis needs to grab a goal or two to get his confidence back. Pedro is currently on fire and will be able to carry his stuttering goal scorers into victory. If needed, Tello and perhaps Deulofeu.
Having said all that, a win at the Camp Nou is essential after the shock loss last week. We need to keep the distance between us and the chasing pack, especially with some crazy fixtures coming up (Madrid – Milan – Madrid – Milan more or less).
Barcelona 4 – 1 Osasuna (because anyone can score against us this season).
Some Related Barcelona Posts:
- Rubber, Meet Road: Osasuna-Barcelona Preview
- La Liga Review: Osasuna 1, FC Barcelona 2, Or, Let Luck Suffice Where Inspiration Won’t