Sunday, July 22, 2018

La Liga Preview: Real Madrid v Osasuna

SoccerNews in La Liga 24 Apr 2014


After huge wins over Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Real Madrid’s focus returns to La Liga’s title race when Osasuna visit on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men are brimming with confidence after defeating Barca in the final of the Copa del Rey.

That was swiftly followed by an excellent 1-0 triumph over reigning European champions Bayern in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at the Bernabeu.

Now the attention turns to the league and the club’s attempt to overhaul rivals Atletico Madrid, who currently top La Liga and have a six-point cushion over third-placed Real, albeit having played a game more.

With Osasuna struggling at the wrong end of the table, and Real having won three straight league games in which they have scored 13 goals without reply, the signs point towards a comfortable home victory.

However, the Liga giants will need no reminding of the danger posed by Javi Gracia’s men following a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture in December, a game that saw Real come from two goals down and both teams finish with 10 men.

Real have superstar Cristiano Ronaldo available, after he made his return from a thigh injury in the triumph over Bayern.

The forward is La Liga’s top goalscorer with 28 goals and team-mate Fabio Coentrao believes his availability further boosts Real.

“Any team would love to have Cristiano Ronaldo, the best player in the world,” he told the club’s official website.

“It is a privilege to play with him and we made good combinations.”

Osasuna’s recent form can be best described as mixed. Gracia’s charges are unbeaten in four, but have won just once in nine league matches.

With just four matches remaining, Osasuna are just three points above the drop zone and will be keen to pull off a shock in order to alleviate the threat of relegation.

Midfield duo Roberto Torres and Francisco Silva are suspended for Osasuna, while Real will continue to monitor the fitness of forward Gareth Bale, who has been struggling with illness.


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