Barcelona vs Osasuna Prediction: Los Rojillos to keep it close

 | January 10 | 

6 mins read

The Supercopa de Espana continues on Thursday as Osasuna take on Barcelona at the Al-Awwal Stadium in Saudi Arabia.

Our Spanish football expert Mark Sochon shares his thoughts and previews the action for us here at Betfred Insights...

Barcelona vs Osasuna Betting Tips:

  • Back Osasuna+2 on the Handicap @ 7/10
  • Back Ante Budimir to score anytime @ 11/5

The second Semi-Final of the Spanish Super Cup sees defending league champions Barcelona take on last season’s Copa del Rey runners up Osasuna.

For Barca, the competition represents a chance to put their current struggles behind them. Defending the trophy they won last year in impressive fashion would be a major morale boost for Xavi and his team and they’d look to use it as a potential turning point in a campaign that hasn’t been convincing so far, but is far from over.

As for Osasuna, who have never won a major trophy, they’ll be really motivated for this competition. They would dearly love to return to Pamplona with a piece of silverware, although they are the rank outsiders in the company of Spain’s “big three”.

The setting of Saudi Arabia’s Al-Awwal Stadium also means this may feel like an away game for Jagoba Arrasate’s side as it’s safe to say that Osasuna’s Riyadh fan club is somewhat smaller than that of their famous opponents.

Much like the team they’ll be lining up against on Thursday, this has been a challenging campaign for Osasuna. They not only reached the cup final last season where they narrowly lost to Real Madrid, but also qualified for Europe via their league position with an excellent 7th place finish.

A Conference League play-off defeat to Club Brugge in August set the tone for what has been a slightly underwhelming campaign this time around. They had to wait until late October for a first home win at El Sadar which had been something of a fortress for them in recent years.

They continue to languish in the bottom half of La Liga, however there have been signs that things are moving in the right direction, with Osasuna winning three of their last four in all competitions.

All of those victories came via 1-0 margins and they’ve looked a bit more assured defensively in those games with solid foundations and a good structure throughout the team, the blueprint for Osasuna’s success in recent years.

Those were qualities that Barcelona very much had last season as they cruised to the league title, conceding just 20 times in 38 matches. Xavi was always going to try to add a bit more style to what was a functional but rarely exciting team, although that is very much still a work in progress.

Publicly at least, Xavi has mostly spoken in positive terms about the level of his side’s performances and they have won three on the bounce in all competitions. They have played well in patches, but it’s several months since Barca put in a truly convincing 90 minute display.

Their only league match so far in 2024 was fairly typical of Barcelona’s season, as an abject First Half display saw them trail Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, before a much improved showing after the interval enabled Barca to fight back and claim a late victory thanks to a 93rd minute penalty.

They have consistently got themselves into trouble in games, but usually find a way to dig themselves out of a hole. On Sunday though, we witnessed almost the reverse effect with Barcelona 2-0 up and cruising at fourth tier Barbastro in the Copa del Rey, before a bit of

complacency appeared to set in as the minnows grabbed a couple of goals in a game the Catalans ultimately only won 3-2.

Team News:

The Supercopa may not be priority number one for Barcelona, but that’s not to say they’ll be resting a host of players here. Xavi will go strong with his starting lineup, although he’s hampered by the absences of the injured Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gavi and Marcos Alonso who have not travelled to Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Pedri, Joao Cancelo and Inigo Martinez are also struggling with injuries and may not feature in the Semi Final. Xavi has decisions to make in midfield where Sergi Roberto could get another start, while Ferran Torres is likely to be preferred to Joao Felix who was disappointing again in the Copa del Rey at the weekend.

As for Osasuna, winger Chimy Avila is the big absentee from their squad. He has been a key player for Jagoba Arrasate’s side in recent years, although his influence hasn’t been as great this term.

Otherwise, the underdogs are in good shape with no other significant injury issues and they’ll certainly go as strong as possible for what is their first ever game in this competition.

Barcelona vs Osasuna Odds:

Barcelona start as the 1/3 favourites in the Match Result market with the Draw on offer at 18/5 while Osasuna are priced at 6/1.

There have been a fair few goals in recent Barca matches and that’s reflected in odds of 8/11 for Both Teams to Score here, while you can back there to be Over 2.5 Goals at 8/15 and Over 3.5 Goals at 11/8.

Barcelona and Both Teams to Score is priced at 7/4, a winning bet in each of the Catalan club’s last three matches.

Meanwhile you can get odds of 15/8 when backing Draw or Osasuna Double Chance and it’s perhaps worth noting that both Barcelona and Real Madrid were taken to Extra Time and penalties at this stage in last season’s competition by underdogs Real Betis and Valencia respectively.

Bet 1 - Osasuna +2 Handicap @ 7/10

It’s now 20 games in all competitions since Barcelona won a match by more than a single goal and that alone is a very strong reason to back Osasuna +2 Handicap at 7/10 here.

Even against fourth tier opposition in the Copa del Rey and rock bottom Almeria in La Liga, Barcelona have failed to build up a more convincing winning margin in recent weeks.

They aren’t playing well enough for long enough to totally dominate games. Frenkie de Jong is their only truly convincing fit midfielder right now, while there are real issues in attack with Joao Felix and Robert Lewandowski both struggling.

Osasuna have been a competitive side that the Spanish elite has rarely been able to breeze past in recent years. While they haven’t been great this season, they’ve shown a bit more of their usual steel in recent matches and look capable of at least pushing Barca all the way here.

Bet 2 - Ante Budimir to Score Anytime @ 11/5

One of the issues for Osasuna this season has been an over-reliance on Ante Budimir. The Croatian forward is enjoying a terrific season with nine goals in La Liga which is more than any Barcelona player has managed.

He scored the only goal last week as Osasuna got the better of Almeria to win their opening league game of 2024 and he’ll fancy his chances of netting here against a Barcelona defence that has managed just one clean sheet in 11 matches so I’m backing Ante Budimir to Score Anytime at 11/5.

You can check out Mark's La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Betfred Insights Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...

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