Osasuna kept alive their slim hopes of a first European campaign since 2006/07 by beating fellow continental hopefuls Valencia 2-1 last time out in what was their ninth successive La Liga (LL) game to produce a winner (W5, L4). Continuing such an all-or-nothing approach might be their best strategy as they seek to finish in LL’s top eight for the first time since 2011/12.
Following a disappointing performance and result against Galatasaray in the Europa League in midweek, Barcelona are right back in La Liga action without a lot of time to rest as they welcome Osasuna to the Greatest Stadium on Earth for some Sunday Night Fútbol.
Thursday’s game was a bit of a letdown in the middle of such a good run, but the priority remains the league and Barça continue to play very well in that competition. They have a firm grip in the Top 4, and can finish the weekend in third place if they get all three points. They also have a game in hand that won’t be played until the end of April, so every good result continues to put pressure on the teams around the Blaugrana.
But as the Galatasaray game showed, Barça can’t take anyone for granted and must play their best stuff with as much intensity as they can, even in the middle of such a busy schedule. Osasuna are comfortable in mid-table without any worries about relegation, so they can come to Camp Nou with nothing to lose and just try to get a big result on the road.
Barcelona will be looking to put recent disappointments behind them as they travel to face Osasuna in La Liga.