Ilaix Moriba could be in line for a start while Antoine Griezmann and Francisco Trincao should also feature when Barcelona take on Osasuna in La Liga.

Barcelona will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run in La Liga to 16 games when they travel to El Sadar to lock horns with a resurgent CA Osasuna outfit on Saturday night.

Heading into the game, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has been dealt with a fresh blow as Gerard Pique is sidelined after picking up an injury against Sevilla in midweek. In addition, fellow defender Ronald Araujo is not fit enough to return either, while Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Philippe Coutinho all remain out with injuries.

With a huge game against PSG in the Champions League coming up next week, Koeman could decide to rest a few players on Saturday.

Osasuna vs Barcelona Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the undisputed starter in goal for Barcelona. The unavailability of  Pique and Araujo could lead to Koeman reverting to a four-man defence, with Oscar Mingueza and Samuel Umtiti at the heart of it. Sergino Dest ought to be the right-back while Junior Firpo could come in for Jordi Alba, giving the latter a rest.

There is an injury boost in the midfield department for Barcelona as Miralem Pjanic is fit again and has been named in the travelling squad to face Osasuna. The ex-Juventus man should start on Saturday, replacing veteran star Sergio Busquets. Frenkie de Jong, given how key he is to the team, could be retained in the side, however.

The third midfield slot could see a change, though, with Pedri likely to be given a breather as he had picked up an injury just last week. Academy products Riqui Puig and Ilaix Moriba will be vying for his place in the side on Saturday and Koeman, in his pre-match presser, spoke about the young midfielders.

“Ilaix is one of the youngsters that we have. He has played some games with Barca B also, he’s been training with the first team and has had a good impact in some games. There are lots of players in midfield, so he is one more that can help the squad a lot, like Riqui, he’s also training well. But it’s true we have some youngsters that are fighting to get a place,” the Barcelona manager said.

Moriba has done well coming on from the bench recently and could be rewarded with his second La Liga start of the season against Osasuna. Moving into the final third of the pitch, Ousmane Dembele is in line for a rest, with Francisco Trincao replacing him out on the right flank.

On the left wing, Antoine Griezmann, who provided a vital assist in the midweek cup win over Sevilla, should get a look-in. And even though captain Lionel Messi could do with a rest, he is likely to start against Osasuna so as to help Barcelona close the gap to the top of the La Liga table.

Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Umtiti, Firpo; de Jong, Pjanic, Moriba; Trincao, Messi, Griezmann.

Leave A Comment...