Sunday’s La Liga action caps off at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as relentless Real Madrid take on the surprise package of the early top-flight season, Osasuna.
Carlo Ancelotti’s high-flying side claimed a morale-boosting 2-1 win away to fierce rivals Atletico Madrid on the cusp of September’s international break, maintaining their perfect 2022/23 season start (W9).
Having won their opening six league matches by an aggregate score of 17-6, Los Merengues headed into the international break two points clear of second-placed Barcelona.
Even without headline performer Karim Benzema, who picked up an injury in a 3-0 Champions League win over Celtic, the reigning Spanish champions have won three consecutive matches.
That run includes a come-from-behind 4-1 thumping of Mallorca in Madrid’s most recent home league outing, highlighting the team chemistry Ancelotti has instilled at the Bernabeu.
According to Spanish news outlet AS, Benzema will be available for selection this weekend after returning to training earlier this week, which is not what visiting Osasuna would want to hear.
Los Rojillos suffered a dismal 2-0 home defeat to relegation-battling Getafe in their final La Liga fixture ahead of the international break, seeing their two-game winning league streak go out of the window.
But despite that setback, Jagoba Arrasate’s men come into proceedings in fifth as their bid to secure a second consecutive top-half finish seems more than achievable.
After winning their opening six La Liga outings, Madrid could register a 100% seven-game start to a new top-flight season for the first time since 1987/88.
Expectations are high in the home camp as Los Blancos haven’t lost any of their 14 league meetings with Osasuna at the Bernabeu (W12, D2) since a 3-0 defeat in 2004, keeping a clean sheet in the last three in a row.
On top of that, Ancelotti has never lost a competitive game to this opposition as a manager (W4, D2), with his team recording four shut-outs in the process.
Despite Osasuna’s almost two-decade wait for a first league triumph at the Bernabeu, Los Rojillos held Madrid to a goalless draw in this corresponding fixture last term.
Arrasate’s lads have credible hopes of pulling off another clean sheet after conceding just one goal on their two La Liga travels this season (W1, L1).
Indeed, each of Osasuna’s last five away league matches has featured under 2.5 total goals, testifying to their cagey approach that could prove crucial to helping them defy a flimsy record in this run (W1, D2, L2).
Real Madrid vs Osasuna Potential Line-ups
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy; Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Toni Kroos; Federico Valverde, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.
Osasuna (3-4-3): Sergio Herrera; Unai Garcia, David Garcia, Juan Cruz; Nacho Vidal, Darko Brasanac, Lucas Torro, Manu Sanchez; Ruben Garcia, Ante Budimir, Moi Gomez.
How to Watch?
You can watch Real Madrid games via live streaming, including Sunday’s game against Osasuna.
Real Madrid vs Osasuna Prediction
There’s no doubt Arrasate’s side will be out to frustrate Madrid with some stubborn defending while waiting for their chances to come from the counter.
But we expect Los Merengues to pick up where they left off before the international break and reach the win column yet again.
Real Madrid 3-0 Osasuna
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