Will Barcelona ever drop points this season?
Probably, but they've shown no sign of doing so thus far. In 10 matches between La Liga and Champions League play, Barcelona have come away with 10 wins. Even when a team managed to earn a draw against them—Atletico Madrid did so in both Super Cup games—Barcelona still won the fixture on away goals.
Things haven't been so rosy for Osasuna. The team has taken just six points from their first eight matches and currently sits in the relegation zone, 18th on the table. A match against mighty Barcelona seems unlikely to halt a tough start to their La Liga campaign.
When: Saturday, October 19 at 2 p.m. ET (7 p.m. BST)
Where: Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona, Spain
Odds: Barcelona (62.2 percent), Osasuna (16.8 percent) and draw (21 percent), according to Bloomberg Sports
Barcelona will get a major boost for this contest, as several players will return to the squad. From Dermot Corrigan of ESPN:
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino says that having Carles Puyol back fit again is a great joy, as the club captain returns alongside Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi for Saturday’s La Liga game at Osasuna.
Messi and Mascherano are expected to come straight back into the team after overcoming recent muscle issues, while Puyol is more likely to be on the bench given it is his first call-up after seven months out with a serious knee injury.
However, Martino told reporters at Friday’s prematch news conference that he might even start the 35-year-old centre-back at the weekend.
You can practically hear the Osasuna fans grumbling at the return of Messi for this match—couldn't he wait a week to return?
Of course, the hosts will be hoping Barca overlooks them with AC Milan up next in the Champions League followed by Real Madrid in El Clasico next Saturday. If Barcelona wasn't so supremely talented and deep, you might label this a trap game.
To Osasuna's credit, they are coming off a 1-0 road win against Malaga, so they are not to be taken lightly. Then again, Malaga didn't come into that game with goal differential in La Liga of plus-24—a truly astounding number—which Barcelona possesses.
To put the scale of this mismatch in perspective, Osasuna's goal differential is minus-seven. Even at home, it's hard to imagine the hosts stealing a point in this contest.
Barcelona are healthy, literally unbeatable thus far in the season and facing a huge week in their Champions League and La Liga campaigns. Some teams might overlook Osasuna as a pesky team to swat away before facing AC Milan and Real Madrid, but not Barcelona.
They're more likely treating this game as a necessary tune-up for the matches to come.
In the city that hosts the famous San Fermin Festival, consider Barcelona the bulls and Osasuna the people crazy enough to put themselves in their path.
Barcelona win, 4-0.