Real Madrid v Osasuna Cheat Sheet
Real Madrid v Osasuna
The Copa del Rey final will see Real Madrid take on Osasuna at La Cartuja in Seville on Saturday night with a 9:00pm BST kick-off, with Carlo Ancelotti and Jagoba Arrasate both looking to secure silverware for their teams.
Real Madrid shocked Barcelona in the semi-finals with a 4-0 comeback in the second leg at Camp Nou to earn their spot in the final in Andalusia, while Osasuna overcame their noisy neighbours Athletic Club. This match presents a chance for Los Blancos to secure their first Copa del Rey win since Carlo Ancelotti’s first stint in charge, back in 2014, while Osasuna could win the title for the first time ever.
There is a saying that goes: Real Madrid don’t play finals, they win them. And, looking at their recent record from finals, that’s true, as they’ve won 17 of their past 20 finals, dating back to 2014. Logically, they are huge favourites to win this one against Osasuna, who are only taking part in Spanish football’s showpiece event for the second time ever, having lost in extra time 2-1 to Real Betis in 2005 on their only other visit to the cup final.
Real Madrid will want to win and they’ll want to win without the need for extra time or penalties. Considering they have their first leg against Manchester City on Tuesday, Los Blancos will set out to complete their business in this final as soon as possible. That’s why it’s worth betting on Real Madrid to win in 90 minutes.
In terms of the form of both these teams, both sides lost in midweek but both played heavily rotated line-ups for those midweek LaLiga games as they were prioritising Saturday night. In the case of Real Madrid, that means their star trio of 2023 – Vinícius, Karim Benzema and Eduardo Camavinga – all enter the cup final weekend fresh and rested.
Osasuna’s starters are rested too, but the Navarre side do have a major problem and that’s the injury of Nacho Vidal. Their starting right-back is out for the rest of the season and that’s not ideal, especially for a cup final against a left winger as talented as Vinícius. Whether they go with Rubén Peña, Diego Moreno or Jon Moncayola to replace him, Vinícius will be licking his lips and looking to steer Real Madrid to yet another trophy.
If Vinícius Júnior is not already a daunting prospect for Osasuna, the rival defence will be shaking in their boots when they realise that a suspension in midweek means that the winger has had a full week of rest heading into this fixture, something which he hasn’t had ahead of a match since February. With fresh legs and even more energy and buzz, he will be a real threat for Real Madrid.
His form is already impressive enough. He has registered a goal involvement in each of his last 11 appearances. That’s included four goals and 11 assists to make him Real Madrid’s leading man in terms of their offensive play, and it’s a label which the Brazilian has more than thrived under.
He also loves the Copa del Rey. He has scored three goals in four games in the competition this season, to add to his season average of 2.6 shots per 90, which includes an accuracy of over 50%. Given the occasion, we can also expect him to have plenty of attempts at goal. Among the games in which he has registered two or more shots on target in 2023 are the first leg of the Champions League tie against Chelsea, both matches with Liverpool and the Club World Cup. When the pressure’s on, Vini turns up.
Osasuna are also one of his favourite opponents. He registered two and three shots on targets in each of the two league meetings with the Pamplona-based side this season, and has never been beaten in seven appearances against them. That means he’ll be at his confident best for this clash.
Returning to the side after missing Osasuna’s last two games with a broken nose, David García will be the leader in this Osasuna defence, lining up alongside the more composed Aridane Hernández.
García has averaged 2.0 fouls per 90 this season, collecting eight yellow cards in the process, but that rate was increasing gradually and over the last three matches before breaking his nose against Cádiz, he averaged 3.67 fouls per 90. While he has built a reputation as one of Spain’s more reliable defenders, earning an international call-up in the process, Real Madrid have proven to be his kryptonite.
In the most recent meeting in LaLiga, he committed three fouls against Los Blancos, and in the first match-up of the season at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, he was sent off. Operating primarily on the left of the Osasuna defence, he could also have a tricky customer to deal with in the shape of an in-form Rodrygo Goes who loves to cut inside, while also being responsible for handling aerial battles with Karim Benzema.
Referee José María Sánchez Martínez is not afraid to put the whistle to his lips with an average of 27.44 fouls per 90 in LaLiga this season, while he tends to award more fouls in favour of Real Madrid than any other team in his career at 13.66 per 90, meaning García is likely to keep him busy.
The above point means that García may be one of the candidates to enter José María Sánchez Martínez’s notebook, but he is unlikely to be the only Osasuna man who is seeing a yellow or red card come Saturday night.
Over the last five matches, he has averaged 7.4 cards in total, with the losing team seeing more cards in three of them. With Real Madrid the overwhelming favourites for this Copa del Rey final, logic follows that Osasuna could be the team to pick up the most cards at La Cartuja.
As much as Osasuna may be picking up cards, we can also expect Real Madrid to avoid them. They have fewer cards than any other team in LaLiga this season with 1.82 yellow cards per 90, compared to a LaLiga average of 2.48 per 90 and Osasuna’s slightly higher 2.61 per 90.
This week has also seen more fuel added to the fire of refereeing controversies in Spain, adding pressure to the referee. “We’re the easy card, you protest one decision and it’s a yellow,” Thibaut Courtois said in an interview on Thursday. That may just be playing on Sánchez Martínez’s mind to hold off some cards for the favourites, with Osasuna only further paying the price.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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