Thursday offers a quieter betting scene compared to yesterday, featuring the second semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup where Barcelona faces Osasuna. The match is scheduled to start at 8 PM.
Barcelona: A Challenging Season for Barça!
Despite clinching the La Liga title last season after a four-year drought, Barcelona’s performances were far from convincing, with several questionable matches. However, their success ensured Xavi’s continuation as the coach of his former team. Barcelona again failed to make an impact in the Champions League, getting eliminated in the group stage for the second consecutive year.
This setback was a significant blow to the club. Consequently, a primary goal this season was to advance in the Champions League, which they achieved by topping a group with Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Antwerp, although not without some shaky performances. In the current La Liga season, the defending champions are third, trailing Real Madrid and Girona by seven points.
Notably, they suffered home defeats against both these teams, with the 2-4 loss against Girona being particularly hard for the fans, given Barcelona’s evident struggles. In their last five matches, Lewandowski and teammates have managed three wins, one draw, and one loss. Their most recent victory was a narrow one against Las Palmas, secured by a stoppage-time goal from Gundogan.
At home this season, Barcelona has played ten games, winning eight and losing two, against Real Madrid and Girona. For the Super Cup semi-final, Xavi will be without Gavi, Alonso, Ter Stegen, and Martinez, while Cancelo and Pedri are doubtful.
Osasuna: The Pamplona Team with Nothing to Lose!
Osasuna, a team consistently delivering high-level performances in recent years, achieved a remarkable feat last season by finishing seventh in La Liga. This impressive position secured them a spot in the Conference League play-offs, showcasing the team’s growing stature in Spanish football. Despite a disqualification from European competition due to historical match-fixing allegations, their successful appeal allowed them to compete, although they were eventually outmatched by Club Brugge in the play-offs.
Last season, Osasuna’s journey to the Copa del Rey final was a testament to their resilience and tactical prowess. Facing Real Madrid, they narrowly lost 2-1 but earned respect for their spirited performance. This season, Osasuna has been a stable force in La Liga, comfortably positioned in the mid-table, which speaks volumes about their consistent and reliable gameplay.
In their last five matches, Osasuna has balanced success and setbacks with a respectable record of two wins, two draws, and one defeat, demonstrating their ability to compete effectively against a variety of opponents. Their latest victory over Almeria, a 1-0 win at home, was a hard-fought battle, reflecting their knack for grinding out results.
Their away form has been a mixed bag, with three wins, a draw, and five losses in nine games, indicating that while they can pull off victories on the road, consistency remains a challenge. This unpredictability makes them a wild card in matches against top-tier teams like Barcelona.
For the upcoming Super Cup semi-final, coach Jagoba Arrasate faces a relatively healthy squad, with the absence of Avila being the only notable concern. This availability of key players gives Osasuna a fighting chance against Barcelona, especially considering their opponents’ recent form struggles. With their ability to upset the odds, Osasuna enters this match with an underdog’s chance and a determination to prove their worth on a bigger stage.
On paper, Barcelona is the clear favorite. However, in practice, the Catalans have been struggling lately and find it hard to secure points in La Liga. Given Barça’s vulnerable defense this season and Osasuna having nothing to lose in this match, focusing on a both teams to score (GG) bet seems ideal, with betBonanza offering odds of 1.82.
For the same reasons, we suggest trying an over 3.5 goals (4+) bet, with odds of 2.41 at betBonanza.
Finally, despite Barcelona’s current struggles, the Super Cup might be their best chance for a trophy this season. Thus, we boldly recommend a halftime/fulltime (HT/FT) bet on Barcelona/Barcelona (1-1), with betBonanza offering odds of 1.97.