Barça are back in action just three days after winning Thursday’s Cup thriller against Malaga (2-4) and so classifying for the semi-finals of the Kings Cup. Semi-finals that will get underway this very Wednesday against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu. But first there’s an important league match against Osasuna, in which Barça will be looking to get back on the winning path after losing last weekend’s league clash with Real Sociedad.
With Messi, but without Piqué
Gerard Piqué will be missing from Jordi Roura’s squad list due to suspension after being sent off in the Anoeta. This means that the assistant coach – who is talking charge of the team in the absence of Tito Vilanova – can call on a total of 21 players to face the side managed by José Luis Mendilibar. In addition to Piqué, Roura will be without Jonathan dos Santos, who picked up an injury during Friday’s training session, as well as Muniesa and Abidal. The good news is that Leo Messi took a full part in Saturday’s training session and seems to be completely recovered from the hamstring problem that saw him substituted during the Cup match in the Rosaleda.
Osasuna always tricky
Osasuna has always been a tough rival for Barça, proof of which is the match earlier in the season in Pamplona. The home side led from the 17th minute thanks to a goal by Llorente and it took two goals from Leo Messi in the final quarter of an hour to take the three points. Osasuna go into the match languishing in the relegation zone and without regular defender Damiá (suspension) and midfielder Annan, who is away with Ghana in the African Cup of Nations. In addition goalkeeper Asier Riesgo and midfielder Timor are both injured.