FC Barcelona face bottom-placed Osasuna in La Liga encounter
FC Barcelona will be looked to cut the gap on the top of the La Liga table with a victory at rock bottom Osasuna on Saturday.football Updated: Dec 09, 2016 19:41 IST
FC Barcelona will be looked to cut the gap on the top of the La Liga table with a victory at rock bottom Osasuna on Saturday.
After the blow of conceding a last minute equaliser to Madrid in last weekend’s El Clasico, FC Barcelona got back to winning ways with a morale boosting 4-0 thrashing of Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday.
Crucially, the returning Andres Iniesta has starred in his first two appearances after a six-week injury layoff over the past week.
With their captain restored, the Catalans looked like the Barcelona of old by registering a competition record 993 passes against the Germans in midweek.
“The most important thing is that the team continues to believe in what it does and how it does it,” said Iniesta.
“I am convinced we will get to the final months of the season in the hunt for all the trophies.”
Neymar is suspended so Arda Turan is expected to deputise alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack after netting a hat-trick against Moenchengladbach.
Sevilla were the one Spanish side not assured of their place in the Champions League last 16 before this week, but ground out a 0-0 draw at Lyon to progress.
However, struggles on the road have been a common theme for Jorge Sampaoli’s men as despite lying third in La Liga, seven points adrift of Real, they have won just four of their 12 away games this season.
The Europa League holders will be keen to make amends for a shock 2-1 defeat at Granada last weekend and maintain a two-point lead over Atletico Madrid when they travel to Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Atletico aren’t in action until Monday when they visit sixth-placed Villarreal in a crucial clash in the fight to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
First Published: Dec 09, 2016 19:41 IST