Alexis celebra el gol contra l'Osasuna / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The quest to cut down the seven-point difference on the leaders continues this Saturday in freezing Pamplona. Barça have three key matches ahead of them in the domestic championship, starting tonight at Osasuna. Valencia and Atlético Madrid will follow. The qualification for the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday was a huge boost for the team's confidence, just as their European campaign is about to recommence.

Favourable history

Where Barcelona really need to improve is in their away form, where they currently have 4 wins, 5 draws and 1 defeat in La Liga. But they have already won at the old El Sadar stadium this season. That was in the Copa del Rey, where they were 2-0 winners, having already won the first leg 4-0. It's three out of three so far for Barcelona this season against Saturday's opponents, for they also thumped the Navarrans 8-0 at the Camp Nou in their league fixture.

Fighting tiredness

But despite facing some tough opponents and gruelling journeys, Barça also need to fight against the after-effects of such a congested fixture list in January and February. The great news is that some of the missing players are finally returning. Andrés Iniesta was able to play on Wednesday night against Valencia and Pedro is about to make his comeback too.

Osasuna well placed

Meanwhile, Osasuna are sitting comfortably in ninth place. However, they have not won for five matches. Manager José Luis Mendilibar is also close to having his full squad back, now that Lamah and Cejudo have been declared fully fit. The Basque, optimistic as ever, said in his pre-match press conference that "beating Barça is very difficult, but it can be done".

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