Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side will look to bounce back from their disappointing draws against Real Sociedad in La Liga and stalemate with AC Milan in the Champions League with a convincing win against huge underdogs Osasuna.
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Just two games into the new La Liga season and already the Catalan club trail arch rivals Real Madrid by two points, and will be desperate to get back to winning ways this weekend.
They’ll have to do it without key midfielder Andreas Iniesta, who was ruled out of the game with a torn hamstring, while exciting young prospect Alexis Sanchez, signed from Udinese this summer, is out for up to eight weeks with a similar injury.
While two key injuries will hamper their chances somewhat Barca will be able to welcome back club captain Carlos Puyol, who has recovered from the knee injury that has blighted him this season.
While their consecutive draws have caused a stir on back pages around the world, Barcelona are notoriously slow starters and have only won their opening two games on three occasions stretching back to 2000
As if Osasuna’s task wasn’t difficult enough, they will travel to the Nou Camp without five key members of their squad. Ion Echaide has already been ruled out of the entire season with a ruptured knee, while Masoud Shojaei remains on the sidelines with a fractured left foot and Asier Riesgo, Javad Nekounam and Sergio will all also miss the game.
The visitors have a poor record at the Nou Camp and have only won four games in 33 trips to the famous stadium, while they have also failed to score in 10 of their 15 trips there.
There is reason to be cautiously optimistic for Osasuna fans however, they are one of only seven teams to have beaten Barcelona while Guardiola has been in charge