Liga Preview: Osasuna-Barcelona, Saturday 2pmET
Osasuna? You want to talk about Osasuna? Okay, sure, I suppose I have the time for that. I remember the games of old, when it was mud and fog and Messi scoring golazos. I would probably remember the 8-0 we laid on them at the Camp Nou earlier had I been able to watch, but alas, I was cavorting in Hanoi, Vietnam and had no time to watch matches at 4am or whatever the time difference made it. I remember sitting at the laptop provided by my lovely hotel (which is just a straight up classy move) and looking up the scores the following day.
An actual conversation (though perhaps not exact quotes):
Me: Holy smokes.
Mrs. The Lady: What? [puts on concerned face]
Me: Barça just won 8-0 nothing!
MTL: Wow, that’s amaz–[puts on annoyed face] I mean, who cares?
Me: Messi got a hat trick!
MTL: Should we have phở for lunch?
Me: Villa got two. That’s called a brace in England; I assume for asinine reasons.
MTL: We could head over to that bún bò place we saw.
Me: They scored an own goal.
MTL: Ha, that was dum–I mean, [puts on angry face] phở or not?
Me: Fine, fine, pho it is. Hey, how come I can’t say it with the nifty Vietnamese letters?
MTL: [puts on troll face] Poor genetic material.
That was back when life was good (except for that pesky 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad) and we were absolutely obliterating teams at the Camp Nou (except for that pesky 0-0 draw with Sevilla). And now, now that we are being manhandled by various opposition away from home (except for the 1-4 win at Malaga), well, this one should prove tough. Osasuna, though, haven’t won since a December 18 at home to Villarreal. They’ve lost to Racing Santander and Atletico Madrid while they’ve drawn against Real Sociedad, Valencia, and most recently Sporting Gijon. 3 points out of 15 isn’t exactly the way to maintain your Europa League status and, as you would expect, they’ve slipped from 5th at the New Year to 9th.
The squad list: Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Cesc, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Thiago, Mascherano, Pedro, Adriano, Abidal, Alexis, Cuenca, Dos Santos, Roberto, Tello
Pedro is back (hopefully with his ! in tow), but Busquets has remained sidelined, meaning we’ll obviously bring back Romeu and buy Bale as well as clone a cheaper Yaya. Tello should start because he’s simply better than Cuenca right now. Iniesta might or might not start, depending on health and Pep’s willingness to risk him ahead of a Champions League clash…you know what? Who cares, let’s play:
Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Mascherano, Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc, Messi, Tello.
This is how it must be. Guardiola says we will fight, so fight we must. There is no time for fatigue. There is no time for escaping pandas. Wait, yes there is!
Official Prediction: 0-4. Cause we play ball this day.