Although the usual practice at FC Barcelona is to travel to away games on the same day as the match, Saturday’s game in Pamplona kicks off at 1.00pm CET, so they’re heading to Navarra the evening before.
Manager Luis Enrique has described the trip to face Osasuna as ‘no ordinary’ game, with the team needing a win to close the gap on Real Madrid to three points, at least until the leaders have played their own game with Deportivo at 8.45pm CET later the same day.
Neymar Jr sits out this trip through suspension, although the enforced break will give the Brazilian some time to get over the muscle fatigue that’s been troubling him of late. The injured Jeremy Mathieu also stays at home, while there’s no room for Masip or Aleix Vidal either.
So, the eighteen players that are heading northwest are as follows: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, Arda, Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Rafinha, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes and Umtiti.
Before departing, the players trained one last time at the Ciutat Esportiva, where Luis Enrique was able to enjoy the services of all of his available players as he worked on the finishing touches to his pre-match plans.