Saturday, June 3, 2023

Prediction: Barcelona vs Osasuna

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 1 May 2023


Verdict: Total home goals over 2.5

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

Barcelona are set to play host to Osasuna within the 33rd round of the season in La Liga at the Camp Nou on Tuesday. Both sides need the points badly at this stage, though, of course, they’re striving to achieve different goals.


Sitting rather comfortably at the top of the La Liga table, with 11 points more than arch-rivals Real Madrid in second place, it’s important for Barcelona to get over the finish line as soon as possible. If they win here and follow that up with two more triumphs, the race will be mathematically over and their efforts will be rewarded with the only trophy left for them to fight for.

Having dropped out of the Champions League after the group stage and then from the Europa League in the subsequent play-off round, the Catalans were severely beaten by Real in the second leg of their clash in the Copa del Rey semifinals, as the 0-4 scoreline wiped out their 0-1 triumph in the first leg in Madrid. Still, winning the crown of Spanish football should obviously make their season very successful, and make their supporters dream again amid reports of a heavy financial crisis.

The crisis, mostly relating to the need for Financial Fair Play compliance, is seriously hampering their efforts to re-sign Lionel Messi, whom they lost as a free agent to Paris Saint-Germain two years ago. On the other hand, the Blaugrana may yet manage to keep Sergio Busquets in their ranks, with recent reports suggesting the veteran midfielder closing in on a new contract despite previous links with departure.

Be that as it may, Xavi Hernandez’s team has endured a difficult couple of weeks recently,  winning only two of their last six matches in all competitions. Their cup defeat to Real was followed by a goalless draw at home against Girona, and another one away to Getafe, before they beat Atletico Madrid at home by 1-0. Then, however, they suffered a shocking 2-1 defeat away to Rayo Vallecano, before bouncing back with a 4-0 win over Real Betis on Saturday.

Team News

Without the versatility of Sergi Roberto, who is working to return from injury before the end of the season, Xavi won’t have too many reasons to change the team that thrashed Betis.

That would mean Marc-Andre ter Stegen between the posts, Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen in the heart of defence, flanked by Alejandro Balde on the left and Jules Kounde on the right, with Busquets anchoring the midfield, joined by Frenkie de Jong and Pedri. Robert Lewandowski would then be flanked by Raphinha and Gavi, with Ousmane Dembele set for another substitute appearance.


Sitting ninth with 44 points to their name, Osasuna have a deficit of five compared to sixth-place Betis and they obviously stand a chance of qualifying for Europe. Therefore, their trip to the Camp Nou should see them motivated to do well, despite the quality and strength of the opponent waiting there.

But it should be said that the focus of Jagoba Arrasate’s team will be considerably split at the moment – they’ve managed to do what Barcelona couldn’t – reach the Copa del Rey final, getting the better of Athletic Bilbao over two legs in the semis. The prospect of facing Real Madrid and possibly winning a major trophy will be big on their minds, arguably bigger than the one of qualifying for Europe through the league. After all, Bilbao and Girona are both better placed to pounce should there be any slip-up within the top six.

Still, Osasuna have done relatively well in their recent league matches. Apart from the 1-1 draw away to Bilbao in the second leg of the cup semis, their last-six run consists of a 2-1 home win over Elche, a 2-1 defeat away to Rayo Vallecano, a 3-2 home win over Betis, a 0-1 win away to Cadiz, and a 0-2 home defeat to Real Sociedad.

Team News

Captain David Garcia could miss out through a minor muscle issue, though his absence hasn’t been confirmed yet. What is certain is that midfielder Darko Brasanac won’t be traveling to Barcelona, being out for a long time due to a torn ACL.

Sergio Herrera will be between the posts. Centre-backs Aridane Hernandez and Juan Cruz should be flanked by Nacho Vidal on the right and Manu Sanchez on the left. Jon Moncayola and Iker Munoz should pair up in the middle of the park, while the trio of Aimar Oroz, Moi Gomez and Kike Barja support striker Kike Garcia upfront.


Traveling to Camp Nou without being 100% focused on the task at hand is always a risky business, and Barcelona shouldn’t have too many difficulties to beat Osasuna.

However, with the odds on a home win being extremely short, perhaps it would be more of a challenge going for goals. If they play like they can, the Catalans should get at least three against their opponents on Tuesday.

Verdict: Total home goals over 2.5

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Betfair


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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