FC Barcelona (4th, 48pts) vs CA Osasuna (11th, 35pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2021-22 La Liga, Matchday 28
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Nico González, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Alejandro Balde (out)
Osasuna Outs & Doubts: Jesús Areso (out)
Date/Time: Sunday, March 13, 2022, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea
VAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA, Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), MTV (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
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.
These two teams played a thrilling match in Pamplona three months ago, with Osasuna scoring a late equalizer to rescue a point at home. They remain very much the same team since then: well organized at the back and bold up front, unafraid to attack even the best sides in the league.
They’ve won two of their last three on the road and are coming off two impressive performances against Real Sociedad and Villarreal. They lost to La Real but played as well as they could have, and they beat the Yellow Submarine last week in impressive fashion. This is a solid team, and in a La Liga season filled with upsets they can absolutely pull off one at Camp Nou.
Barça need to play well, take their chances, and get out of third gear for once. There’s been a bit of complacency in their performances lately, and they can’t afford any of that until the goal for the season is achieved. Every game counts.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; Dembélé, Aubameyang, Ferran
Osasuna (5-3-2): Herrera; Vidal, Sánchez, García, Aridane, Cruz; Brasanac, Torro, Moncayola; García, Kike
Osasuna are a tricky side that know how to cause Barça problems, but I’ll still trust the home team to get the job done and keep the good run going: 3-1 to the good guys.