Copa del Rey preview: Osasuna v Barça

Only an enormous shock in tomorrow night’s return leg in Pamplona can prevent the mouthwatering prospect of a Copa del Rey Quarter Final between Barça and Real Madrid. Osasuna need no fewer than five goals to put us out and to be fair I don’t think even the most optimistic Osasuna fan will be hoping for any more than a victory on the night. We saw in the second leg against L’Hospitalet that Pep Guardiola will not take these games lightly however simple they may seem at first glance. Eighteen players have been named for the trip, 15 from the first team plus Isaac Cuenca, Sergi Roberto and Martin Montoya. Keita has joined Mali for the African Cup, Alves and Iniesta with a light knock have been rested while Maxwell has been left out as it seems he is negotiating a move to Paris Saint-Germain and could sign very soon.

We have already scored twelve goals in two meetings with Osasuna this season, an 8-0 thrashing in the league in September was followed by the 4-0 win in the first leg last week though both these games were at Camp Nou. Osasuna are a much better team at the Reyno de Navarro stadium (I preferred it when it was called El Sadar), but it seems almost impossible that Barça could go out. We should perhaps remember the Getafe disaster in 2007 when we lost a 5-2 advantage from the first leg but these things don’t seem to happen with Guardiola in charge.

Despite losing heavily to us Osasuna are having an excellent season under Jose Luis Mendilibar and they are currently fifth in La Liga. They play an attacking style of football but this seems to leave them a little vulnerable against the very top teams. Mendilibar doesn’t expect much from tomorrow’s game as he has left out six first teamers to give a chance to some youngsters to get some experience. Hopefully Giuardiola will give Sergi Roberto, Cuenca and Montoya another first team chance though I can’t help feeling he might have added a couple more youngsters to the squad for this trip.

I don’t normally like to look past the next game, but the prospect of two more games with Madrid is so exciting. Not only do we have the bonus of two more clasicos which will make it nine games between the two great rivals in less than twelve months, we will also have the chance to affect their morale again. It is looking unlikely that Madrid will drop many points but it is probably better that they are stretched as much as possible. The Copa may end up having a big influence on the Liga and I think us playing each other again can only work in our favour. But first to finish the job with Osasuna, I’ll go for a narrow win for Barça.

Barça list for the trip: Pinto, Valdés, Montoya, Puyol, Piqué, Mascherano, Fontás, Abidal, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Thiago, S. Roberto, Cuenca, Fabregas, Messi, Alexis, Pedro.

Possible starting XI: Pinto, Montoya, Mascerano, Fontás, Adriano, Busquets, S.Roberto, Thiago; Cuenca, Alexis, Pedro.

My prediction: Osasuna 1 Barça 2

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5 Responses to Copa del Rey preview: Osasuna v Barça

  1. barcacentralroger says:

    As promised, repost from the previous posting:

    “I’ll probably repost this on the Osasuna Copa del Rey preview when it’s up, but to put it down on electronic paper now: Does anyone know how the card system works for this round of the Copa? last night Arbeloa was sent off, so he won’t play the next match, but Ramos and Diarra both picked up yellows – will they have to avoid a second yellow in the first leg to avoid missing the second leg?

    Also, to note that Khedira may be out for a little – looks like a sprain, but yet to confirm how bad yet (sorry for him), and it’s unclear when Di Maria will return. We could be facing a seriously depleted Madrid, as well as one who should be psychologically cowed.

    Yes, to add to your comments Simon and Nic, judging their performance last night, I wondered whether Madrid wanted to get through to face us…”

    • barcacentralnic says:

      I’m not sure on the cards and suspensions in the Copa, and it’s a bit late to check up on now. I’m sure the press will let us know soon if any important players are going to miss out.

  2. Edward says:

    Se va Maxwell. Classy, professional, team player. To me, he’ll be remembered affectionately. Good luck Maxwell!

  3. FCB-Parbo says:

    I understand that the rules say that you have to include 7 first-teamers (on the pitch?), so that leaves 4 places for the youngsters. However, they travelled with only 3 of them.

    OT: In case you haven’t seen the video below yet. He’s still the same.

  4. barcacentralenrique says:

    lets be serious, this is the most uninteresting game thus far. we need to be much more ready for betis on the weekend. thats what matters

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