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Fresh off a stunning, last-minute win over their arch-rivals that put them into first place in La Liga, FC Barcelona return home for a Wednesday night clash with last-place Osasuna. Kickoff is set for 7.30pm CET.
The game comes less than 72 hours after Lionel Messi found the net late in second half injury time to give Barça a dramatic 3–2 victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu (Highlights, Match Report). It was Messi’s second goal of the game after he drew Barça level at 1–1 in minute 33. Messi’s game-winner, which came in minute 92 after Barça were pinned deep in their own end with just 30 seconds left to play, was his 500th career goal for FC Barcelona.
Messi, who extended his lead atop the league goal scoring chart, thus reached the jaw-dropping milestone in perhaps the team’s most important game of the year, saving the team’s title hopes with one of the most clutch goals of an illustrious career replete with them.
Messi’s milestone will be honored at Camp Nou prior to the game against Osasuna, a team against which he has scored an abundance of goals.
Here's a closer look at Wednesday night's matchup at Camp Nou:
La Liga standings snapshot:
Head-to-head in La Liga, last five meetings at Camp Nou:
FC Barcelona have won nine of their last 10 games versus Osasuna at Camp Nou, including the last five in a row...in fact, Barça have only conceded two goals over that stretch...Messi doesn’t just lead the La Liga in scoring with 31 goals, he also leads the league in injury-time goals, with three...Luis Suárez is second on the league scoring chart, with 24 goals...Barça are averaging 65.68% possession so far this season, best in La Liga... Barça’s last five league results have been WWLWW...In their first meeting this season, in Pamplona in Week 15, Barça beat Osasuna, 3–0 (Match Report, Highlights below), with second-half goals from Suárez (Min. 59) and Messi (Min. 72 and Min. 90).
Luis Enrique has picked the exact same eighteen players as he did for the Clásico at Real Madrid this weekend. And we all know how well things turned out at the Santiago Bernabéu. Neymar Jr is still suspended and Rafinha, Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu are all out through injury, while Jordi Masip has once again been left out and Barça B’s Carles Aleñá does get the nod.
The full squad is thus as follows: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Arda, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti and Aleñá (28).
Osasuna will be mathematically assured of relegation should they lose to Barça and if Leganés (17th place) beat Las Palmas (13th place)...Nevertheless, Osasuna are one of two La Liga sides—along with Alavés—to win more games away than at home in the league this season (2 away, 1 at home)...Osasuna are averaging 39.53% possession so far this season, worst in La Liga...Osasuna’s last five league results have been DLWWL.
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