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Osasuna vs Real Madrid: Champions Aim to Build up Head of Steam

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated February 16, 2023
12 min read
  • Real Madrid have the chance to put some pressure on Barcelona on Saturday
  • The newly crowned world champions thumped last-placed Elche in midweek
  • Osasuna have struggled in recent weeks but they have an excellent home record

Osasuna vs Real Madrid Odds

The odds for Osasuna vs Real Madrid have been provided by the DraftKings Sportsbook, which is running a special offer of a deposit bonus worth up to $1000.

To Win To Nil

Odds

Osasuna

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Real Madrid

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Osasuna vs Real Madrid Pick

Back Real Madrid to beat Osasuna without conceding. The latter do not lose many matches at the Estadio El Sadar, but the Blancos have what it takes to emerge victorious this weekend.

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Osasuna vs Real Madrid Prediction

Osasuna vs Real Madrid Predictions

Champions Must Put as Much Pressure on Barcelona as Possible

Title races are all about momentum. We saw the effects of that in the Premier League this week, as Manchester City took advantage of Arsenal’s recent dip in form to displace them in top spot. 

Real Madrid will not be able to do the same this weekend, but they can at least put a bit more pressure on Barcelona. The Blancos face Osasuna in the late game on Saturday, while the Blaugrana’s meeting with Cadiz is scheduled for Sunday.

After winning Club World Cup 2023 last weekend, Madrid resumed their domestic campaign by thumping Elche 4-0 on Wednesday. That saw them move to within eight points of Barcelona, who remain strong favorites in the La Liga title race.

A gap of eight points is substantial, especially when you consider Xavi Hernandez’s side have only dropped seven all season. But there is still plenty of soccer left to be played this term. Madrid are by no means out of the picture yet. There is another Clasico to come, and the reigning champions must be ready to pounce if Barcelona do start to wobble.

Their victory over Elche last time out was as comfortable as many had predicted. It is hard to reach too much into a triumph over a team with just one win to its name in 2022/23. But Carlo Ancelotti will have been pleased that his side took the opportunity to boost their goal difference, which could yet be a factor in the two-way fight for the La Liga title.

There were still positives to take from Madrid’s display, even with the caveat of the opposition’s lack of quality. 

Rodrygo dazzled in a rare start on the left, Karim Benzema became the club’s second-highest scorer of all time with a brace, and the defence kept its seventh clean sheet of the season. Madrid must now ensure they register back-to-back league wins for the first time in 2023.

Osasuna Will Hope Their Home Record Brings Another Big Win

Osasuna are the archetypal mid-table team in La Liga. Since promotion in 2018/19, they have finished 10th, 11th and 10th. After 21 rounds of fixtures this term, they are ninth. 

They would be higher in the standings if they could play all their matches at home. That is true of most teams, of course, but Osasuna’s reliance on the Estadio El Sadar is particularly strong. Six of their eight victories this season have come there. Only Real Madrid and Barcelona have won more matches in front of their own fans.

It is not that Osasuna are unbeatable on home turf; far from it. They have lost four times at El Sadar, including two of their last three games there. But matches at their stadium tend to be tight: only the grounds of Real Mallorca and Real Valladolid have seen fewer goals in 2022/23. Few opponents relish going there.

Osasuna climbed as high as fifth in the table shortly before World Cup 2022, but a recent downturn means they are now only six points above the bottom half. 

Jagoba Arrasate’s charges have only won one of their last eight top-flight outings. An optimist would point out that they have also lost just one of their last six, with draws against Athletic Bilbao, Elche, Espanyol and Valladolid. Osasuna are still tough to beat, but they will be keen to return to winning ways as quickly as possible.

Real Madrid Should Have Too Much Quality for Osasuna Here

Real Madrid started the season with a bang, winning 10 of their first 11 matches to set the early pace in La Liga. But Barcelona managed to hang in there with their arch-rivals, and at the end of October Madrid began an inconsistent run which allowed Xavi’s side to pull clear at the top of the table.

Madrid have dropped points needlessly this term. They have beaten both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in crunch head-to-head clashes, yet failed to overcome the likes of Girona, Osasuna (in the reverse fixture), Real Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano.

That can happen once in a while, but an eight-point deficit in the title race necessitates that Madrid must be near-perfect for the remainder of the season, barring a collapse from Barcelona which does not look likely as things stand. 

Osasuna will be robust and competitive. Madrid should know what to expect, so there would be no excuse for a failure to match their opponents physically. Provided they do that, the champions’ superior individual quality should make the difference.

Osasuna have only scored 19 goals this season, the 15th-lowest figure in the division. Back Real Madrid to win to nil in this key game at the Estadio El Sadar on Saturday.

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How to Watch Osasuna vs Real Madrid

  • Teams: Osasuna vs Real Madrid
  • Location: Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona, Spain
  • Time: Saturday 18 February 2023, 3.00 PM EST
  • How to Watch: ESPN+
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AUTHOR

Greg Lea

787 Articles

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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