Real Madrid VS Osasuna – LIVE Reddit Soccer 20/04/2022
Real Madrid will look to take another step closer to the La Liga title on Wednesday, when they take on Osasuna at the Estadio El Sadar. Los Blancos staged an eye-catching turnaround to defeat Sevilla at the weekend, leaving them needing 10 points from their last six games to secure the trophy. After a sequence of commendable mid-table finishes, Osasuna have again enjoyed an impressive season in La Liga, putting themselves in the top half heading into the final run of games.
That has largely been down to a recent upturn in form for Jagoba Arrasate’s men, who have now won four of their last six matches. After victories over Villarreal and Levante were followed by heavy defeats to Barcelona and Real Betis respectively, Los Rojillos have posted back-to-back wins heading into Wednesday, firstly beating strugglers Alaves 1-0 at home thanks to Ante Budimir’s 92nd-minute goal. Arrasate’s side then travelled to Valencia last time out, and they held out for a 2-1 win after Ezequiel Avila and Budimir had initially put them two goals ahead.
Having now leapfrogged Valencia and climbed to ninth spot with that latest victory, Los Rojillos will aim to extend their five-point lead over 11th place to further boost their claim for another top-half finish in the Spanish top flight. They face a particularly difficult test, though, as Real Madrid make the trip aiming to move closer to bringing the league title back to the Santiago Bernabeu. In what has been a tough league campaign for several of Spain’s strongest sides, Los Blancos have taken advantage and led the division throughout the season under the management of Carlo Ancelotti, amassing 75 points from their 32 games thus far, 15 more than second-placed Barcelona who have two games in hand.
The capital outfit were comfortably beaten by Barca in the latest edition of El Clasico in March, suffering a 4-0 thrashing on home turf, but they went on to bounce back with consecutive league wins and a 3-1 away victory over Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Ancelotti’s side then welcomed the London outfit to Spain for the second leg last week, and, despite the Blues looking set to go through as they took a 3-0 lead on the night, Los Blancos forced their way back, as Rodrygo scored to take the tie to extra time and Karim Benzema hit the winner in the first 15-minute period.
Upon their return to domestic action on Sunday, Real Madrid trailed third-placed Sevilla 2-0 at the break, but Rodrygo and Nacho got on the scoresheet to level the game with 10 minutes to go before Benzema again hit the decisive goal, popping up in the 92nd minute.
That leaves Los Blancos with a healthy lead at the top of the division, and, before their Champions League semi-final tie with Manchester City, they will aim to chip away at the tally of 10 more points that they need to secure a 35th Spanish league title.
Real Madrid have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table to 18 points when they face Osasuna on Wednesday night at the El Sadar Stadium. Los Blancos are on course to win their 36th league title and are currently leading the table with 75 points from 32 matches.
Real Madrid are followed by Barcelona, who have undergone a resurgence under manager Xavi. But the gap between the two giants is huge and the Blaugrana’s defeat to Cadiz has further hampered their chances. But even with the title virtually in their bag, Carlo Ancelotti would not want his players to give Osasuna an inch in the encounter.
Real Madrid have won eight of their last ten La Liga encounters, losing one and drawing one. Their only defeat in this run came against Barcelona in El Clasico in March. Their most recent outing saw them come from two goals down to defeat Sevilla 3-2, with Karim Benzema scoring an injury-time winner.
Osasuna, on the other hand, are currently ninth in the league. They have won four of their last six league matches and come into this encounter on the back of two consecutive wins – a 1-0 victory over Alaves and 2-1 win over Valencia. Following their 11th-placed finish last season, Jagoba Arrasate’s side are looking to finish in the top half.
Jagoba Arrasate will be without the services of Jesus Areso, Kike Garcia and Juan Cruz due to their respective injuries. Midfielder Lucas Torro is suspended for the encounter, which will force the manager to make at least one change to the Osasuna XI that started in the 2-1 win over Valencia.
Arrasate will go ahead with a 4-3-3 formation in the hope that they can slow down Real Madrid’s title charge. Torro will be a big miss in the middle of the park, however.
Sergio Herrera will start in goal for the home team with Nacho Vidal, Aridane Hernandez, David Garcia and Manu Sanchez expected to start in the defence for them, with Sanhez slotting back in defence due to Torro’s absence.
Carlo Ancelotti is set to be without Eden Hazard and Ferland Mendy due to the pair’s respective injuries. Marcelo, too, is ruled out for the Osasuna clash after picking up a knock in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Getafe earlier this month.
The Italian tactician will continue to employ a 4-3-3 that has served Real Madrid brilliantly this season. One of the midfield three sits back to shield the defence as the two full-backs provide width on either flank.
Thibaut Courtois will continue in goal, with a back four of Lucas Vazquez, Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Dani Carvajal. Carvajal will hope for a repeat of his second-half performance at left-back from the game against Sevilla. Casemiro served his suspension this past weekend but picked up a minor injury in training.
Meanwhile, Luka Modric is struggling with fatigue, which means neither the Croat nor Casemiro is available to take on Osasuna. So a remodelled midfield unit will feature Eduardo Camavinga in the anchor role, with Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde being the box-to-box midfielders.
Rodrygo Goes has scored in both of Los Blancos’ last two encounters, and he should earn a start on the right flank on Wednesday. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior are expected to continue in their usual roles, leaving Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale on the bench.