Osasuna will be up against league leaders Real Madrid in La Liga at the El Sadar on the 21st of April. Osasuna have done remarkably well this season and are ninth in the standings. Meanwhile, Real Madrid have opened up a 15-point gap at the top of the standings and it seems like a matter of time before they lift the crown.
Osasuna have done extremely well in La Liga this season. After a series of impressive mid-table finishes over the last few years, they have enjoyed a spectacular campaign and find themselves in the top half of the table heading into the final few fixtures. Osasuna are ninth in the table with 44 points and are just 11 points off the European spots.
This remarkable season has largely been down to the recent wonderful run of form for Jagoba Arrasate’s men. They have won four of the last six league matches. Osasuna are also currently on a two-match winning streak after defeating both Alaves and Valencia.
They also managed to secure victories over Villarreal and Levante, and although they were followed by heavy defeats to Barcelona and Real Betis respectively, Los Rojillos have secured consecutive wins in their most recent matches.
Ante Budimir’s 92nd-minute goal at home proved to be the difference against a struggling Alaves side. They then travelled to Valencia in the previous weekend and held on to a 2-1 victory after Ezequiel Avila and Budimir put them ahead in the contest.
The latest victory allowed Osasuna to leapfrog Valencia and claim the ninth spot on the table. They will be hoping to extend their five-point lead over 11th placed Celta Vigo. Arrasate’s side will be desperately pushing for a top-half finish in the Spanish top flight, which will do wonders for their fortune.
However, securing victory might prove to be a particularly challenging test as they face league leaders Real Madrid. Los Blancos have been sensational this season and are well on their way to bringing the La Liga crown back to the Santiago Bernabeu.
It has been a challenging season for several of Spain’s top sides, including Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have taken the utmost advantage of this fact and have collected 75 points from their 32 matches so far. Barcelona’s latest defeat to Cadiz at the Camp Nou also helped Real Madrid open up a 15-point gap at the top of the table.
Although Real Madrid suffered a massive blip when Barcelona thrashed them 0-4 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the El Clasico fixture in March, they have come back with a bang to post impressive wins in both the Champions League as well as La Liga.
Karim Benzema and co secured a massive 1-3 victory over Chelsea in the first week of the Champions League quarterfinal at the Stamford Bridge. However, Ancelotti’s side was tested in the London outfit’s visit to Spain for the second leg of the tie last week.
The Blues marched ahead in the tie and took a 0-3 lead (3-4 on aggregate) with 20 minutes left in the contest. However, Los Blancos forced their way back into the game, first through Rodrygo, who scored the all-important equalizer and then through an in-form Karim Benzema, who scored the winning goal in the first 15 minutes of extra time.
Real Madrid showed their uncanny ability to bounce back from difficult situations once again on their return to domestic action. They trailed third-place Sevilla 2-0 at the halftime break. However, Rodrygo and Nacho got on the scoresheet to restore parity in the contest with 10 minutes left before Karim Benzema hit the decisive goal once again in injury time.
This leaves Real Madrid with a more than healthy lead at the top of the table. Before their Champions League semi-final tie against Manchester City, they will be hoping to take yet another step closer to winning their 35th Spanish League title with three points secured against Osasuna at the El Sadar.
OSA vs RMA, La Liga 2021/22
Date: 21st April, 2022
Time: 1:00 AM IST
Venue: El Sadar, Pamplona
Osasuna La Liga form:
Osasuna form (all competitions):
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Osasuna wins: 8
Real Madrid wins: 24
Osasuna Team News: Osasuna are expected to miss defenders Juan Cruz and Jesus Arseo because of injury concerns.
Croatian forward Ante Budimir is expected to lead the frontline with plenty of confidence. He has now scored in four consecutive matches to take his tally to six goals in La Liga this season. Arrsate’s decision to reduce Darko Brasanac’s role to merely a substitute in the previous match was a surprising move. However, Brasanac will be vying for a spot in the engine room alongside Lucas Torro in this contest with Real Madrid.
Real Madrid Team News: The league leaders, on the other hand, will continue to miss the services of Eden Hazard. Hazard’s move from Chelsea to Real Madrid hasn’t worked out at all and he has spent most of his career with Real Madrid on the sidelines. Midfielder Dani Ceballos is also out with an illness.
Meanwhile, left-backs Ferland Mendy and Marcelo are also expected to be out of contention and right-back Dani Carvajal, who changed flanks to deputize in the role against Sevilla, is expected to do the same once again. Nacho and David Alaba are also options to start in the left-back role.
French star Karim Benzema has been on a dreamy run of form this season. He has scored several late and crucial match-winning goals for Real Madrid. He has reached the mark of 25 league goals in Spain for the first time in his career and has also assisted 11 goals to his teammates. Benzema has also found the back of the net on 12 occasions in the Champions League.
Casemiro is expected to return to the starting XI after serving a one-game suspension against Sevilla which might relegate youngster Eduardo Camavinga to the bench. Rodrygo will be hoping to partner Benzema and Vinicius in attack after scoring in consecutive games.
Osasuna possible starting lineup:
Herrera; Vidal, Hernandez, Garcia, Angel; Moncayola, Brasanac, Torro, Sanchez; Avila, Budimir
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Alaba, Militao, Carvajal; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Given Real Madrid’s outstanding form and resilience, which has been visible in their previous two games, they are the favourites to pick up another three points and take another step forward in their conquest of La Liga. Osasuna have also been on a strong run of form lately and they will be trying to complicate matters.
However, Ancelotti’s men have more than enough tools at their disposal and a win here will also boost their confidence ahead of the Champions League semi-finals against Manchester City.