After what has been a very depressing week for a lot of us Barça fans, we finish it off with a vital trip to Pamplona. Facing Osasuna in the next game of Barcelona in La Liga. Coming into the game, confidence and morale isn’t high as a result of our Champions League elimination in midweek. However, the team are going to have to put that all behind them as they face a very tough opposition in Osasuna. From this point on, every game should be like a final to these players. Every single point is vital for our season. The league is over for us in terms of the title, but what we need to be focusing on is getting into the top 4. We aren’t too far away, but the more times we keep dropping points unnecessarily, the further we’ll go. As a team and a club overall, we cannot afford that to happen.
Tough times, but is this all inevitable?
Dropping into the Europa League after failing to beat Bayern Munich on Wednesday was a very embarrassing moment for us as a club. But as sickening as that was to experience, it all just feels like this is an inevitable part of Barca’s transition. When a club has been as mismanaged as we have over the last 6-7 years, what do you expect. The greatest player of all time, the greatest player of the clubs history left in the summer. And of course that was always going to leave a massive void. With Leo leaving , that means that all the flaws he was covering up over the last few years were always bound to show. And that’s exactly what has happened.
Thomas Muller summed our situation up perfectly “Technically and tactically Barça have it all, but they can’t cope with the intensity of the game”. Against Bayern we saw a team that is improving. We looked organised and well structured, the players were working hard throughout the whole game. But at this moment we just lack the quality to compete with Europe’s biggest teams. We have an extraordinary amount of young talents in this team. Players who are the backbone for our future. The main problem is that the “experienced” players we have just aren’t good enough. We will be back, but it’s just going to take a lot of time and a lot of rebuilding. Xavi said we are now starting from scratch, and a good way to show that is with a positive result against Osasuna!
A quick look at our opponent
Osasuna began the season in very impressive fashion, losing only 2 of their first 11 games. And at one point, they were way ahead of us in the table too. At the beginning, it looked like they could be a serious challenger for the European spots. Unfortunately for them however, things have dropped off recently. Not being able to win in their last 7 games, means that from being in the push for a Uefa competition, they own find themselves in 10th place. That being said though, considering how poor we’ve been this season, as of right now we’re only 2 points ahead of them in 8th. That in itself is unacceptable. The three points for Barça are crucial tomorrow. We have to come away with a positive result, there’s no excuse.
Recent results against Osasuna
Over the past few seasons, we’ve been able to rack up a series of impressive wins against Osasuna. Home and away. In the last decade, we’ve recorded victories with a score line of 8-0, 7-1. Which all happened at the Camp Nou. Our most recent results against them came last season, where at the camp Nou we beat them comfortably 4-0. Before we travelled to El Sadar, and picked up a 2-0 win. With the goals scored by Jordi Alba and Ilaix Moriba. Funnily enough those two players won’t be there tomorrow, due to Alba’s hamstring injury and Moriba’s departure from the club in the summer.
That being said though, Osasuna are a team that can cause us trouble. Just last year, I think everyone will remember the 2-1 defeat we experienced at the camp Nou. Ending our chances of winning the 2019/20 La Liga title. They have also generally been very strong at home, and when you take into account our poor away form, it makes the game tomorrow even more difficult.
It feels like every match day all we keep talking about is what new player is injured. But unfortunately that is the sad reality right now. When it comes to injuries, we are just so unlucky. The amount of players we have out, especially the quality of players who are absent just makes our situation even worse. We’ve been without Pedri and Ansu Fati for most of the season and it doesn’t seem like either will be back until the new year. That in itself is a massive blow.
In midweek against Bayern, 2 more players suffered setbacks. Jordi Alba forced himself to play against Bayern and didn’t last long until he had to come off. Quite possibly the biggest blow from that game was the injury to Memphis. Throughout the entire season, he’s been the only forward player who has been able to keep himself fit. He’s played every single game for us, so an injury was inevitable. Admittedly, he hasn’t been in great form recently, but fatigue is probably a reason behind it. So now with Memphis, Ansu, Aguero and Braithwaite all out. The only striker we have available now is Luuk De Jong. If I’m honest, that doesn’t feel me with a lot of confidence. With his spell at Barça so far being very poor. He hasn’t convinced Xavi or us fans, and if he were to play tomorrow, we all know it would be a reluctant decision.
Like I always say, whatever the lineup, whatever the setup. A win is the most important thing. Let’s just hope the team can pull through for us tomorrow. It’s going to be tough, especially away from home. But a positive result is vital.
Prediction: Ter stegen Dest- Araujo- Pique- Balde Frenkie- Busquets- Gavi Abde- Luuk De Jong- Dembele