- The visit of Osasuna (9:00 p.m. / Camp Nou) opens a key week before playing the Europa League in Turkey and visiting the Bernabéu
- Maintain the progression of the game and results before the Classic, vital to not arrive at the international break with doubts
The visit of Osasuna (Camp Nou, 9:00 p.m., Movistar LaLiga) opens a decisive week for Barça before the international break in March. Osasuna, Galatasaray and Real Madrid form a trilogy of matches in which Xavi’s team, in eight days, faces the challenge of continuing to aspire to a European title and achieving a prestigious win in the Clásico that calls into question Madrid’s dominance of the league. Although yesterday Xavi stated that it has no influence at all on the preparation of Barça-Osasuna, the draw against Galatasaray last Thursday will condition, and a lot, the preparation for the visit to the Bernabéu next Sunday, since the Barcelona team is obliged to win and, just three days before the match and with a long trip to Istanbul, he will not be able to reserve strength. The week is highly demanding and it begins tonight for Barça, who cannot let up in the fight to finish in the top four. With the prospect of the visit to the Bernabéu, it is better to have points reserved and not be in a hurry.
The first of this trilogy of pitfalls is Osasuna, who arrives at the Camp Nou with their homework done in LaLiga, even though Jagoba Arrasate says that they are missing a victory. Perhaps mathematically not, but the rojillo team practically has permanence in the bag. Be careful with the Navarrese team, who already left the azulgrana with two points less in Sadar, with that header by David García to tie in the final minutes of Osasuna-Barça in December.
Since then, Barcelona’s evolution is undeniable. However, Xavi’s team has put together two poor performances in recent games and a third could sow doubts before the two momentous games that will follow. In other words: Barça is looking for a fourth consecutive victory in LaLiga, a forced victory against Osasuna which, if not achieved, would cast doubt on the positive progression of recent weeks: six wins and two draws in 2022, with a level also a growing game that needs impulses, not braking difficult to assume.
much needed win
Although it is certainly not the objective, not winning at the Bernabéu is within what is acceptable. Not winning Osasuna tonight, on the other hand, would be a very big brake, in terms of qualifying and progression. Barça would go to Madrid with the risk of going on hiatus with more doubts than confidence.
Atlético beat Cádiz and is now third provisionally, with three points more than Barça but with two more games played: to match the mattresses, the Barça team still has to play this day’s game and the postponed game against Rayo Vallecano, that today receives Sevilla. Madrid, for its part, plays tomorrow, Monday, at the Mallorca stadium, so that it can rest comfortably after its effort against PSG.
Barça, on the other hand, comes from a wear that can pay off against Osasuna, recovered and with morale on the rise after having beaten Villarreal a week ago, a victory that moves the Arrasate team away from the relegation zone enough to think that salvation is a fact, with which the Navarrese team would have already achieved their objective. It can be positive for Barcelona, but it can also give peace of mind to a team that has already put the last nail in Barça’s coffin in LaLiga 2019-20, by storming the Camp Nou on the penultimate matchday with nothing to gain or lose.