With Lionel Messi hurt, Barcelona lost their last contest to Athletic Bilbao, 1-0, allowing Real Madrid to creep within three points of the league-leading Catalans. That further tightened the three-team race atop the La Liga table that also includes Atletico Madrid.
For Real Madrid, that slip-up from Barcelona was huge, as Los Blancos appear to really be rounding into form of late and are primed for a siege on the La Liga table in the second half of the season. Since an October 26 loss to Barca, Real Madrid have gone unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions.
Can 16th-place Osasuna end the streak?
When: Saturday, December 12 at 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. GMT)
Where: Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona, Spain
Watch: beIN Sport; beIN Sport Play;
Odds: Real Madrid (64.1 percent), Osasuna (18.2 percent) and draw (20.5 percent), according to Bloomberg Sports
Real Madrid are heavy, heavy favourites in this game, in large part due to the duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, who have combined for 24 goals and nine assists in La Liga play. Ronaldo alone has 17 goals in the league, while Bale has been excellent since becoming fully fit after missing some time early in the season.
Add in Karim Benzema's eight goals and the continued emergence of young superstar Isco (five goals, two assists), and you have one of the world's most dangerous attacks.
So does Osasuna have an answer for that type of firepower? Um, no, they don't.
Osasuna have scored just 11 goals this season, the worst in La Liga. To put that into perspective, Real Madrid have scored 44 goals in the same amount of games (15), a whopping four times more than Osasuna. That's insane.
For Osasuna, the key man is Oriol Riera, who has scored five goals for the season while no other player for the club has more than two. If he doesn't have a blinder then the hosts are in serious, serious trouble.
So long as Real Madrid can ignore all of the transfer whispers that follow the team everywhere they go—the latest is that Angel di Maria could be on the way out with Bale locked in as the starter on the right wing—they should dispatch of Osasuna quite easily, even away from home.
Anything less than an easy victory will be shocking, and a disappointment. Real Madrid wins, 5-0.