Preview: Osasuna vs. Barcelona

Preview: Osasuna vs. Barcelona

Barcelona will be bidding to record a third straight win in La Liga when they head to Osasuna on Sunday evening in their last match before the September international break.

The Catalan outfit have picked up seven points from their opening three matches of the season to sit fourth in the table, while Osasuna are seventh, boasting six points from their first three games.

Osasuna will enter this match off the back of a hugely disappointing result in the Europa Conference League, with Thursday’s 2-2 draw against Club Brugge in the second leg of their playoff affair seeing them suffer a 4-3 defeat, meaning that they will not progress into the group stage of the competition.

Jagoba Arrasate’s side must move on quickly from the defeat, and they have made an encouraging start to the campaign, picking up six points from their opening three La Liga matches to sit seventh in the table.

Osasuna opened their domestic season with a 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo before suffering a 2-0 home loss to Athletic Bilbao in their second match on August 24.

Los Rojillos managed to return to winning ways in the league last weekend, though, with a 95th-minute effort from Nacho Vidal securing a 2-1 victory over Valencia at Mestalla.

Osasuna have lost their last three league games against Barcelona, including a 2-1 defeat in the corresponding match last season, while they have not beaten the Catalan outfit at home since February 2012.

Preview: Osasuna vs. Barcelona – prediction, team news, lineups
Barcelona, meanwhile, started their season with an underwhelming goalless draw against Getafe, but they have since beaten both Cadiz and Villarreal to move onto seven points in the table.

Xavi’s side were involved in a seven-goal thriller away to Villarreal last Sunday; the visitors led 2-0 in the opening 15 minutes courtesy of goals from Gavi and Frenkie de Jong before conceding three times either side of the half-time interval to trail to the Yellow Submarine.

Ferran Torres made it 3-3 in the 68th minute, though, before Robert Lewandowski netted the winner in the 71st minute, with Barcelona picking up a vital win to stay in touch with leaders Real Madrid early in the season.

Barcelona comfortably won the La Liga title last season, finishing 10 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, but it would be a surprise to see them that far clear this term.

The club’s financial problems have made it a difficult summer transfer window to navigate, but loan deals for Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix went through on Friday, with the two players set to be valuable additions to a squad which is certainly in need of a boost.

Osasuna La Liga form:

Osasuna form (all competitions):

Barcelona La Liga form:

We say: Osasuna 1-2 Barcelona
Osasuna will be determined to bounce back from their European disappointment, and this has the potential to be a very tricky match for Barcelona. The Catalan side found a way to beat Villarreal last time out, though, and we are also backing them to navigate their way to a big three points here.

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