Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Prediction: Barcelona vs Osasuna

Verdict: Over 3,5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

FC Barcelona must wait for a miracle if they want to retain the league title, as Real Madrid have to go winless in their last two matches while Los Blaugranas must win out what’s left in their schedule. That path starts Thursday at home against Osasuna, a team that has nothing to play for but their honor. This pivotal contest will kick-off at 19:00 GMT at Camp Nou.

FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona do not depend on themselves to win the Liga title anymore. With only two matches left in the schedule, Los Blaugranas must win both contests and wait for Real Madrid to go D1, L1 — at best — to retain the crown in Spain’s top-flight. In other words — Real Madrid will be the new league champions if they manage to defeat Villarreal on Thursday evening. Los Blaugranas have been stumbling of late and while their recent form looks decent — Perhaps the best example of how strong have looked is the fact that they’re just one game away from just their second undefeated La Liga home campaign since the start of 2013/14. They are massive favorites ahead of this match, but that’s not what matters the most to them. It’s entirely possible that Barcelona will be playing this game paying a lot of attention to what happens between Los Merengues and Villarreal.

Team News

Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann have both been ruled out of this match. Both players are dealing with thigh problems.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for Barcelona, Samuel Umtiti is highly unlikely to feature due to his persistent knee issues.

Osasuna

Osasuna do not have a strong chance of pulling the upset in this match. Their record when facing top-half sides at home is nothing short of woeful (W1, D2, L6), and that shouldn’t change here given how strong Barca have looked at home. Plus, there could be severe motivation issues when analyzing what Osasuna have left to play. Even though they are six points behind the seventh place of the standings, they would have to overcome three other teams — Athletic Bilbao, Valencia and Granada — to even reach Real Sociedad. In short — they don’t have much to play for, but their honor. Those teams can be dangerous, but Barcelona have a lot at stake so they might not give Osasuna the chance to make things happen. The visitors are massive underdogs ahead of this match, and they should be treated as such.

Team News

Marc Cardona (muscular) and Chimy Avila (knee) have both been ruled out. This means the team’s attacking power will be weakened.

Ruben Garcia (rest), Unai Garcia (muscular) and Robert Ibanez (stomach) are all doubtful. Neither of the three, however, is likely to feature here.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Barcelona will go undefeated at home this season if they manage to avoid defeat in this matchup.
  • Los Blaugranas are a scoring machine at home, as they own the league’s best attack under that criteria. They average 2.83 goals scored per home match this season.
  • Osasuna enter this matchup in good form, as they have lost just once in their last five league games.
  • The visitors, however, have had problems finding the back of the net when playing on the road. They average just 1.0 goal scored per game on enemy soil.
  • Barcelona also have a clear edge in the recent H2H meetings. They have gone undefeated in their last seven league matches against Osasuna (W5, D2).

Conclusion

Barcelona must win this game to have a shot at the title in the final match of the season, while Osasuna have nothing to play for. Expect Los Blaugranas to play with intensity and a clear attacking mentality.

Based on that, this game could easily end with over 3.5 goals scored. Especially if we consider Barca on its own average 2.83 goals scored per home match.

Verdict: Over 3,5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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