Osasuna host Real Madrid in La Liga on Sunday afternoon as Los Blancos look to maintain their lead at the top of the table.
Zinedine Zidane’s men finally had their 21-game unbeaten streak snapped in midweek – losing 4-3 at home to a dynamic Real Sociedad side in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, although Barcelona’s defeat at Athletic Club later on Thursday night softened the blow.
Nevertheless, Real are still on a four-game winning streak in La Liga and their brilliant form has helped them build a three-point lead over the chasing Catalans at the top.
They’ll be taking on an Osasuna side who have somewhat exceeded expectations in their return to the top flight.
Where to Watch
This game will be available for fans on La Liga TV since its mid-season launch.
|When is Kick Off?||Sunday 9 January|
|What Time is Kick Off?||15:00 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||Estadio El Sadar|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||La Liga TV|
|Referee||Jesus Gil Manzano|
Osasuna will be without centre-back Aridane
|Osasuna||Herrera; Vidal, U.Garcia, D.Garcia, Estupinan; Moncayola, Perez; Ibanez, R.Garcia, Torres, Cardona.|
|Real Madrid||Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Valverde, Casemiro, Kross; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius.|
Head to Head Record
Unsurprisingly, Los Blancos have dominated this fixture over the past couple of decades. In their last 35 meetings, Real have come out on top in 23, while Osasuna have won just five.
In fact, Los Rojillos have beaten Madrid just once in the last decade – a 1-0 win back in 2011.
In the reverse fixture back in September, goals from young Brazilain duo Vincius Jr and Rodrygo handed Los Blancos a 2-0 victory.
Since Avila’s injury,
Osasuna are still a pretty good side to watch, but you do fear for them in the second half of the campaign without their star man. The onus will be on the likes of Ruben Garcia (seven goal contributions) and Roberto Torres (ten goal contributions) to provide for Arrasate in the final third for the remainder of the season.
Real, meanwhile, were hopelessly exposed by La Real in the week. Martin Odegaard was able to persistently slice through a Casemiro-less midfield with ease while Aleksander Isak – who bagged a wonderful brace – caused Sergio Ramos and Eder Militao all sorts of problems with his movement.
The away side were a constant threat in transition and overall, the game proved just how key Varane and Casemiro are to this Madrid side.
Nevertheless, that defeat came after an impressive 1-0 victory over Atletico
Here’s how these two have fared in their last five outings.
|Villarreal 3-1 Osasuna (02/02)||Real Madrid 3-4 Real Sociedad (06/02)|
|Real Sociedad 3-1 Osasuna (29/01)||Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico (01/02)|
|Osasuna 2-0 Levante (24/01)||Zaragoza 0-4 Real Madrid (29/01)|
|Recreativo 2-3 Osasuna (21/01)||Valladolid 0-1 Real Madrid (26/01)|
|Osasuna 0-0 Valladolid (18/01)||Unionistas 1-3 Real Madrid (22/01)|
Expect Los Blancos’ defence to achieve normality in this one with the returns of Casemiro and Varane.
Even though Osasuna provide a threat from midfield, without Avila they won’t have enough to overcome the league leaders on Sunday afternoon.
At the other end of the pitch, the electric form of Vinicius will certainly be pleasing Zidane – with the young Brazilian showing signs of improvement in the final third. The away side won’t blow the hosts out of the water, but a routine victory is expected.
Prediction: Osasuna 0-2 Real Madrid