When Osasuna takes the field at La Cartuja for their Copa del Rey final matchup against Real Madrid in early May, they may already know if it is their only route to playing in Europe next season. The two previous La Liga (LL) games against Real Sociedad at home and Barcelona away will test if they actually belong among Spain’s contenders for European play, especially if they lose both games, which would make league qualification extremely challenging.
Not to mention later in the season, you’ll host Athletic Club and Girona, two teams with a reputation for fierce competition. However, Osasuna will be hopeful they’ve finally discovered the secret to defeating the league’s best clubs after failing to beat any team starting this round above them in the standings (D2, L7), following a breakthrough 3-2 victory against Betis in their last LL home start.
Similar problems exist for Sociedad, which could prevent them from maintaining their present fourth place standing and earning a Champions League season. They failed to defeat Betis for the second time this LL season in the previous round (D1, L1), and they still have to face each of the top three teams on their way home, who they have all failed to defeat (D2, L1).
Although they won the first meeting between these teams on New Year’s Eve (2-0), the visitors will need to make history to win both games because they have yet to score on the road this LL season against any team that is seeded in the top eight (D2, L2). Success might only require scoring the first goal, though, as the club who scored first has won 13 of Sociedad’s 16 LL away games this season.
Osasuna winger Moi Gómez will be seeking to break a streak of 12 competitive H2Hs without a goal after scoring his second LL season goal in his last two matches. Takefusa Kubo, who has scored inside the first hour in five LL games this season, might give Sociedad a good start.
Darko Brasanac, who has a chronic knee ailment, will be out for Osasuna, and Abde Ezzalzouli, who was dismissed against Cadiz, will also be absent.
The majority of the players are anticipated to be recalled for this game, despite the fact that head coach Arrasate made significant substitutions on Tuesday against the Yellow Submarine.
In fact, the home team should start Jon Moncayola, Kike Barja, Aimar Oroz, Aridane Hernandez, David Garcia, and Ruben Pena once again.
Diego Rico, Umar Sadiq, and Martin Merquelanz are still out injured for Real Sociedad, who will not participate in this game.
The Basque team’s goalless draw with Real Betis hasn’t caused any new fitness concerns, but Mikel Merino and David Silva are poised to make alterations to the lineup.
Takefusa Kubo might be shifted to a more advanced position, but it appears more likely that he will move to the bench so Mikel Oyarzabal and Alexander Sorloth can remain the front two.
Possible starting lineup for Osasuna
Herrera, Pena, Aridane, D Garcia, Cruz, Oroz, Moncayola, Ibanez, R Garcia, Budimir and Barja.
Possible starting lineup for Real Sociedad
Remiro, Gorosabel, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Munoz, D Silva, Zubimendi, Merino, Mendez, Oyarzabal and Sorloth.
We predict: Osasuna 1-1 Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad will have a difficult time winning this game since Osasuna is playing well at a crucial point in the season. Although Arrasate’s team has struggled at home this year, it is difficult for us to back them to lose in this match, so we have to settle with a scoreless draw.