Osasuna and Barcelona meet on match day three of La Liga, with their game kicking off on Saturday at 5:00pm local time. Osasuna are a newly promoted side, who face the prospect of taking on a rejuvenated Barcelona who may also welcome back Lionel Messi.
Home Team: Osasuna
Osasuna returned to La Liga this season following a successful campaign last year in the 2nd tier where they won the league with 87 points from a 42 game season. Since the turn of the millennium, Osasuna have been in the top flight more often than not, and they have started their campaign as if to say they truly belong here. On the opening day, they performed the perfect away game, by winning 1-0 at Leganes, as they scored the only goal of the game with 15 minutes left on the clock – as Ezequiel Avila scored a stunning strike from distance.
Their game this past weekend was at home to an expectant crowd against Eibar, who they will be competing against to keep away from the relegation drop. The match was far from entertaining, and it petered out to be a 0-0 draw. Nonetheless, Osasuna’s tight defence has yet to be breached, and surprisingly have one more point to their name than Barcelona do.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Away Team: Barcelona
Barcelona opened up their season looking disjointed, as the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Rafinha flattered to deceive as they lost 1-0 in their opening match to Athletic Bilbao. Their start to the season went from bad to worse when they conceded the opening goal of the game to Real Betis this past Sunday night. However, this time, we saw a fantastic world-class performance from Barcelona with the likes of Griezmann, Carlos Perez and Rafinha particularly shining, with the former scoring two cracking goals to turn the game around.
In the end, the match finished 5-2 as Barcelona have officially got their season up and running. It was a mightily impressive performance considering that Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi are still to return. They may return to action this weekend, but one thing is for sure, and that is that Barcelona are not missing Coutinho.
Head to Head
The sides last met in the 2016/2017 season where Osasuna were eventually relegated. Barcelona smashed Osasuna 7-1 at the Nou Camp, as well as beating them 3-0 away. Thankfully for Osasuna, they are at home for this match, where they have enjoyed some success against Barcelona. Since 2012, Osasuna have beaten Barcelona 3-2, and also drew 0-0 in two of the last three times they have hosted Barcelona.
My Predictions and Betting Tips
Osasuna are at 10/1 to win, with Barcelona overwhelming favourites at 2/7. For the sides to draw, that is priced at 17/4. I can only see Barcelona walking away with a victory here. Osasuna may have kept two clean sheets so far, but they won’t have faced Barcelona’s menacing attack which could get even stronger this weekend. Barcelona were frustrated by Athletic Bilbao, but they’ll be sharper this weekend, and will look to build on last week’s victory. My score line prediction will be a 3-0 away win at 13/2.
For goal scorers, I’d back Antoine Griezmann to get on the act again (10/11 to score at any time), with Carlos Perez and Rafinha priced at 15/1 to both score in the game. If Lionel Messi returns, then you should back him to score the last goal of the game at 3/1. To boost earnings on a Barcelona victory, back them to win to nil (5/6), or win by a 3+ goal margin at 2/1.
Finally, for the tipsters, the big money can be won on predicting an almighty shock, so backing Osasuna to keep a clean sheet – as Athletic Bilbao did against Barcelona two weeks ago – at 8/1.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot] [geot country="US,CA" ]
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