Henry Chard, Osasuna fan
Osasuna finished 7th and reached the Copa Del Rey final last year. How come there has been a tail off in performances this year?
It was always going to be near on impossible to match the heights of last season for a club like Osasuna, we have missed the spark that Abde provided in attack and the defensive stability of Aridane. Add into that some key players not hitting their top form this season. However, for a club like Osasuna, staying up is the main priority and we are on track to do that comfortably, in previous seasons this would be considered a more than adequate campaign so far.
We have struggled to get the better of Osasuna in recent times (visitors are unbeaten in last five meetings). What can the home side do to break them down this time round?
Maybe not so much this season but Osasuna are usually a tough team for anyone to break down away from home, we usually look to play more on the counter away from home having a good defensive shape and building from there. We lack pace which can be exploited and quite surprisingly haven't been great at defending set pieces this season, so they could be routes for Sevilla to go down
What playing style do Osasuna have under Jagoba Arrasate?
The playing style under Arrasate is always adaptable to the players available and to suit the game I think. In the past full backs have been key bombing forward and getting good deliveries into the central striker with the likes of Clerc, Vidal and Estupiñan excelling at that. However without that quality at full back now, the build up is slower, but we are definitely not what you would recognise as a modern day possession based side. Osasuna are always about getting the ball forward quite directly whether that be in the air to the striker, down the flanks or driving from the midfield. Today, I think we will try and frustrate the home side and crowd being quite rigid and soaking up any pressure and trying to get a goal from a set piece, I'd be surprised to see us really go for it away from home from the off despite Sevilla's poor form.
Who are the key players to look out for?
Budimir has been the star man this year, he is a rare sight in modern football these days, a big physical front man playing up on his own who can hold the ball up, win headers and bring others into play. He's been clinical this year and is enjoying a great season. David García at the back is always a consistent performer to a high level as you would expect from a Spain international, he could really play at a higher level but is a loyal Navarran. Goalkeeper Sergio Herrera has also saved us many times this season with some incredible stops, he's a bit of a cult hero and has a superb record saving penalties.
The preview of..
Sevilla FC-CA Osasuna, LaLiga EA Sports Matchday 22. 18:30 CET kick off at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. We will pay tribute to the fans who passed away on the way to Madrid with a minute’s silence before the game.
We head into the game in 17th, one point above the relegation zone. Cádiz, who are once place below us face Athletic Club earlier in the day. Osasuna are 12th, eleven points from European football and with a 10 point cushion from the relegation zone.
Osasuna have played in three different competitions in their past three games. They lost 2-0 in the semi final of the Supercopa and then also lost 2-0 in the Round of 16 in the Copa Del Rey against Real Sociedad. They put those two defeats behind them to bounce back and beat Getafe 3-2 in the league.
The last three meetings
Their 3-2 win last season in Nervión last year ended a winless run against us dating back to 2006/07. In 2021/22 we won 2-0 thanks to goals from Diego Carlos and Lucas Ocampos and in 2020/21 thanks to a penalty from the Argentine.
Lamela and Mariano are absent from the matchday squad, but Hannibal Mejbri returns. Gudelj, Lukebakio and Kike Salas remain sidelined with injuries while En-Nesyri is still at the Africa Cup of Nations. As for Osasuna, the injured Chimy Ávila is the only absentee from a squad that lost Nacho Vidal this week. He has joined Mallorca on loan.
Guillermo Cuadra Fernández will be the referee - the 15th time he has done so for us. During those previous matches, we have managed ten wins and four losses. This season, he was in charge of our 4-3 defeat away at Alavés and our 5-1 victory against Almería, as well as the 2-1 cup win against RC Ferrol. He has taken charge of 12 Osasuna matches in which they have won five, drawn four and lost three. The only one of those this season was a 4-0 defeat away against Real Madrid. Isidro Díaz de Mera is the VAR.