Spanish Super Cup first-timers Osasuna have the daunting task of taking on Barcelona in Riyadh on Thursday night for the right to play Real Madrid in Sunday’s final.
Osasuna have yet to win a major piece of silverware in their 104-year history, and at to beat mighty Barcelona inside 90 minutes at Al-Awwal Park, the pricing suggests they won’t be breaking their duck this weekend.
But they have run Barcelona close in their last three meetings, and Ante Budimir is a striker who poses a real threat to any defence. Take the Croatian international to fire off at least a couple of shots as one leg of a Bet Builder, which comes in at 11/4.
Real Madrid and rivals Atletico set the entertainment bar higher than envisaged with their eight-goal thriller in the first Spanish Super Cup semi-final, and it’s worth backing Barcelona and Osasuna to follow suit.
We might not be treated to another 5-3 thriller (the final score in the Madrid ‘derby’, which Real won), but certainly the signs are there that both teams will score. It’s a shot and makes a common-sense platform for a Bet Builder.
Statistically, the bet looks obvious. Both teams have scored in each of Barcelona’s last six matches in all competitions, and they are definitely leakier this season than is customary. Both teams have found the net in seven of Osasuna’s last ten.
It’s a free hit for Osasuna, an unlikely opportunity to win some silverware, and having pushed Real Madrid all the way in last season’s Copa del Rey final, they will feel entitled to be in this type of competition against this calibre of opponent.
For Barca, of course, this level of competition is ten a penny. Head coach Xavi won it six times as a player and insists there are no minor trophies in Spanish football, music to the ears of bettors anticipating a positive approach from the favourites.
In La Liga this season Barcelona are allowing 10.6 shots per game, almost two more than was the case during last season’s title-winning campaign.
Osasuna aren’t free scorers - 22 in 19 in the league - and are missing Chimy Avila. But it’s nine-goal Ante Budimir who represents their main danger, and if Barca present any openings, the Croatia international will accept the gifts.
Budimir signed off last season with six goals in his final seven appearances for Osasuna, a productive run after a largely barren campaign, and he has kicked on in 2023-24.
He won’t have Avila alongside him in Riyadh, instead looking to link up presumably with Moi Gomez and Jose Arnaiz, but he will be a threat in what ought to be an open game.
Budimir is in La Liga’s top ten for shots per game this term with 42 fired off at 2.7 per match. While it’s true that Barcelona represent a classier opponent than the majority Budimir comes up against, his stats still suggest that he can clear 1.5 shots.
Barcelona top La Liga’s possession stats with an impressive 63%, so it’s probably no surprise they top the corner charts as well.
Xavi’s men are averaging 6.5 corners per game in league action this season, so make over five Barca corners the third leg of your Bet Builder.
When these sides last met at the Nou Camp in May, the Catalan giants racked up 11 corners and mustered five in this season’s away game in Pamplona. On neutral territory they can pick up at least six.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Gavi and Marcos Alonso are out, as is Inigo Martinez, even though he has travelled to Riyadh. Joao Cancelo and Pedri have also travelled despite recent injury issues with Pedri likely to be on the bench.
Striker Avila was injured in last week’s 1-0 win over Almeria and is out.
Both teams have scored in each of Barcelona’s last seven Spanish Super Cup fixtures. Both teams have also scored in each of Barcelona’s last six matches in all competitions.
Each of the last three meetings between Osasuna and Barcelona have been level after 85 minutes - Barca have gone on to win all three.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.