Real Madrid vs Osasuna: Preview and Prediction
With the first major trophy of the season up for grabs, Real Madrid and Osasuna gear up to lock horns at Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville, on Saturday in the final of Copa del Rey. With Barcelona all but set to win La Liga, the Spanish Cup and the UEFA Champions League are the two most realistic chances for the Los Blancos to win silverware this campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men suffered a 0-2 defeat against Real Sociedad on Tuesday night which relegated them to third place, and an astonishing fourth defeat in the last eight league games. Ahead of the UCL semifinal against Manchester City, Madrid will look to build steam by winning the Copa del Rey, a trophy they last won in 2014.
On the other hand, Los Rojillos have had a dream run in the competition so far, they might be the underdogs coming into the summit clash but will be aiming to win their maiden Spanish Cup title.
Jagoba Arrasate’s men also come into this fixture amid a shaky run having lost consecutive league games to Real Sociedad and Barcelona. They’ve reached the final of Copa del Rey once before in 2005, losing to Real Betis and the Pamplona-based outfit was eliminated in the round of 32 last season.
Neither team has enjoyed too much success in recent games, both clubs have blown hot and cold of late. Ancelotti’s men have suffered shocking defeats to Girona and Real Sociedad recently, sandwiched between a 4-2 win over Almeria in La Liga.
In the Copa del Rey, Los Blancos eliminated Villarreal in the round of 16, before putting city rivals Atletico Madrid to the sword in the quarter-final. El-Clasico rivals Barca awaited the Capital-based club in the semi-final and after a 1-0 defeat in the first leg, Ancelotti was able to mastermind a 4-0 win in the second leg to keep the club in contention for their 20th Spanish Cup title.
Los Rojillos on the other hand defeated the likes of Fuentes, Arnedo, Gimnastic Tarragona, Real Betis, Sevilla, and Athletic Bilbao to set up a date with Madrid in the final. It’s been a long route for them in this competition, although their league form has dipped recently. Arrasate’s men overcame Elche, Real Betis, and Osasuna earlier this month but lost to Rayo Vallecano before slipping to ninth place after their recent defeats to La Real and Barca.
Head to Head Record
In total, these two Spanish clubs have met each other on 40 occasions across all competitions to date with Los Blancos enjoying 26 victories, whereas Los Rojillos have claimed just five wins, and nine games ended in a stalemate.
Also, the Pamplona-based outfit has not defeated Los Blancos since January 2011, and they suffered a 0-2 defeat in the most recent meeting between these two clubs back in February. However, the reverse fixture at Santiago Bernabeu in October did end 1-1.
Neither team has too many casualties ahead of the Copa del Rey final, although Ancelotti’s side did suffer a major scare as Luka Modric picked up a hamstring problem, the Croatian did complete a full training session with his team on Thursday.
David Alaba is another player with a hamstring issue and could feature from the bench if needed. Ferland Mendy is the only long-term absentee due to his calf issue, apart from him, Madrid has a fully available star-studded roster for the final.
For Arrasate’s side, Darko Brasanac is unavailable given his knee injury, and David Garcia and Nacho Vidal are doubtful for the final.
Jon Moncayola was suspended against Barca for the league game but is expected to return to the lineup at the weekend, Sergio Herrera has been the preferred goalie in Cup games and is likely to keep his place in the goal.
Predicted Starting XIs
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, Antonio Rudiger, Eduardo Camavinga; Toni Kroos, Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Osasuna (4-2-3-1): Sergio Herrera; Jon Moncayola, Aridane Hernandez, Unai Garcia, Juan Cruz; Lucas Torro, Moi Gomez; Ruben Garcia, Aimar Oroz, Iker Benito; Kike Garcia.
Ancelotti’s men may have slipped up in recent games but they will enter the Copa del Rey final as favourites against Los Rojillos. Both sides have been inconsistent of late however, Los Blancos’ ability to step up the big games will undoubtedly give them an edge over Arrasate’s side.