Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona
Saturday, December 14, 15:00 GMT
As we go in the 16th game week of La Liga, Real Madrid travel to the El Sadar stadium to face Osasuna. Real Madrid, currently third placed in the La Liga will go into this game looking to extend their 5-game winning streak and close in on league leaders Barcelona and second placed Atletico Madrid. On the other hand, Osasuna who are 16th in the league will try their best to use the home advantage in order to resist The Whites. The last time these two sides faced each other was at the Bernabeu in June this year for their last match in the 2012-13 La Liga season. Real Madrid won the game 4-2.
Team News and Tactics
Osasuna are still struggling to find their feet in the La Liga this season. After 15 games, Los Rojillos sit 16th in the league, only a point clear of the bottom three. Osasuna will be looking to earn some points in this tough fixture. Javi Garcia’s men will give their all to try and win this game and overturn their fortune.
Having won only 4 of the 15 games so far, Osasuna have an uphill task of avoiding the relegation battle. Usually Los Rojillos are known to be strong at home. However, this season seems to be different as Osasuna have only managed to win 2 of their 7 games playing at home. All being said, one cannot forget that Osasuna were the first opponents Barcelona were unable to defeat this season. Osasuna managed to draw 0-0 against Barcelona when the latter visited the Estadio El Sadar.
Osasuna come into this game after holding off Malaga to a draw in a thrilling Copa Del Rey encounter over the weekend which ended 3-3. Osasuna would want to face Real Madrid with a similar mentality trying to score as many goals as possible. Attack will be the best form of defence for Osasuna if they plan to grab any points from this fixture. Being the underdogs, not much will be expected from Osasuna, however, they are very much capable of upsetting Los Blancos. All being said, the home team must give their all if they want to see a positive end to the season.
Javi Garcia is expected to stick to his usual 4-2-3-1 formation, with Fernandez between the sticks, a back four consisting of Damiá, Arribas, Loties, Bertrán, supported by Lolo and Punal as the two holding midfielders. Armenteros and Cejudo are expected to occupy the wings with the team’s top scorer with 5 goals so far Oriol Riera leading the attack and De las Cuevas playing behind him.
Expected Line-up (4-2-3-1): Fernandez; Damiá, Arribas, Loties, Bertrán; Lolo, Punal; Armenteros, De las Cuevas, Cejudo; Oriol Riera
Real Madrid will go into this game full of confidence having emerged leaders of their group in the Champions League. Real Madrid are three points adrift of league leaders Barcelona and second placed Atletico Madrid. A win for Real Madrid at Osasuna will create sufficient pressure on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid who will play their respective fixtures later.
Real Madrid have been on a great run of form having won their last 5 league games after the El Clasico defeat. However, it will not be an easy task to win against Osasuna away from home. The last time these two teams met at the El Sadar stadium it resulted in 0-0 draw. Real Madrid will have to keep in mind that Osasuna were the reason Barcelona’s winning streak was cut short when the Catalans drew 0-0 on their visit to El Sadar.
Real Madrid have been at their attacking best recently and will look to play in a similar fashion on Saturday. However, the fact that Real Madrid could not score over the weekend against lowly Olimpic de Xativa in the Copa del Rey will surely be a cause of concern for Carlo Ancelotti. Having won 2-0 away from home against FC Copenhagen, will only boost the morale of the team and they will travel to Osasuna full of confidence in the hope of winning the game to continue their delightful run of form.
Carlo Ancelotti will most probably play a 4-2-3-1 formation. Khedira, Varane and Fabio Coentrao are still not available to play. Luka Modric who has sealed a permanent spot for himself may not start the game after a he received a nasty-looking knock in the mid-week Champions League game. Diego Lopez is expected to start the game ahead of Casillas which seems to have become a trend at Real Madrid. The back four may consist of Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Marcelo as Ancelotti may look to rest Arbeloa. Shielding the back four will be Xabi Alonso and Illarramendi. Expect Di Maria to play behind Forward Karim Benzema with Bale and Ronaldo on the flanks. Isco’s mediocre performance in the Champions League may see him warming the bench.
Expected Line-up (4-2-3-1): Diego Lopez; Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Illarramendi, Xabi Alonso; Bale, Di Maria, Ronaldo; Benzema
- Osasuna have scored only 11 goals this season in La Liga, while Cristiano Ronaldo has alone scored 17.
- Osasuna are only one point clear of the relegation zone.
- Cristiano Ronaldo is now the record holder for most goals in a Champions League group stage after scoring one against FC Copenhagen and taking his tally to 9.
- Real Madrid have scored 21 goals in their last 5 league games and have won them all
Player to watch out for
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
After missing from action for 3 games, expect Cristiano Ronaldo to be back with a bang. The Portuguese scored the second goal against FC Copenhagen to create a record for scoring the highest amount of goals in a Champions League group stage (9). Having scored 17 goals already we won’t be wrong to expect a goal or two from the forward.
Osasuna 1-3 Real Madrid
Expect both teams to give their all in this game. One of them will fight to stay away from the relegation battle while the other will look to pressurise and close in on the league leaders. Both come have performed reasonably well in their last matches and will try to give their best in this interesting clash.