FC Barcelona (13th, 11pts) vs CA Osasuna (14th, 11pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 12
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo, Samuel Umtiti (out), Sergiño Dest (doubt)
Osasuna Outs & Doubts: Chimy Ávila, Brandon, David García, Adrián López (out), Jonathan Calleri, Aridane Hernández, Juan Pérez, Lucas Torró (doubt)
Date/Time: Sunday, November 29, 2020, 2pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 1pm GMT (UK), 8am ET, 5am PT (USA), 6.30pm IST (India)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz
VAR: Pablo González Fuertes
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a dominant victory over Dynamo Kiev to ensure a place in the Champions League knockout stages, Barcelona return to action in La Liga against Osasuna at the Greatest Stadium on Earth on Sunday afternoon in Catalonia.
Barça remain perfect in Europe, but that’s where the good news stop this season. The Blaugrana actually have more wins and more points after four Champions League than they do after eight league games, and the 11 points so far make this the worst La Liga start after eight matches in three decades.
This is Ronald Koeman’s biggest challenge: consistency, both of performances and results. Barça were excellent against Real Betis three weeks ago, then looked awful against Atlético Madrid and played a fantastic match despite all the changes in Ukraine. The talent is obviously there, the ability to play well for 90 minutes is also clearly there, but doing it game after game is the goal.
It was against Osasuna less than five months ago that Barça officially lost the La Liga title last season with an embarrassing performance and defeat at home, so this promises to be a tough one against a well-organized defense.
Barcelona (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; Mingueza, De Jong, Lenglet, Alba; Dembélé, Pjanic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Griezmann
Osasuna (5-3-2): Herrera; Vidal, Roncaglia, U. Garcia, Navas, Jony; Moncayola, Oier, Pérez; Budimir, R. García
I shouldn’t be this optimistic about a Barcelona game in La Liga in 2020, but a rested Messi and an on-form Dembélé gives me cause to expect a big win: 4-1 to the good guys.