Will a nightmare week for Barcelona influence their clash with Osasuna on Saturday?

As off-field matters continue to shroud the club in controversy, the Catalonian giants must focus on their football, and dependent on the outcome of the Madrid derby, a win at Osasuna could be vital.

After returning to winning ways on Sunday with a vital 2-0 victory over high-flying Sevilla, Barcelona's on-field success was once again overshadowed by the club's reported corruption and questionable political stances off it, as the Catalonian club continued to spiral into disrepute.

In a raid of their training ground earlier this week, a number of high-profile Blaugrana officials, including club President Josep Bartomeu, were arrested for their connection to a narcissistic smear campaign dubbed 'Barcagate,' which targeted various ex-players that had openly criticised the Bartomeu regime.

As financial, political and legal matters continue to dominate proceedings behind the scenes, it is pivotal that Ronald Koeman and his players focus on the playing tasks at hand, in a week where the competitive hopes for their La Liga season could end entirely.

The victory in Seville moved Barca within five points of leaders Atletico Madrid, as they leapfrogged Real Madrid into second, after Los Blancos failed to beat Real Sociedad on Monday as Zinedine Zidane's side could only play out a 1-1 draw.

Additionally, the Catalonian giants were also able to overcome a 2-0 deficit in their first-leg semi-final clash with Sevilla, winning 3-0 in the second to seal a drammatic aggregate victory in extra time, in their second meeting with Los Sevillistas in just four days

In a month where La Liga fixtures will come thick and fast, Koeman's side know that any repeats of previous slip-ups this season will all but end their title dreams, as they travel to Pamplona to play an in-form Osasuna side.

Coached by Jagoba Arrasate, Los Rojillos have recently climbed away from the bottom of the La Liga table up to 12th, having won three of their last four league games.

Will Barcelona's boardroom battle influence results on the pitch, or will Messi and co. respond emphatically to continue their pursuit of a 27th La Liga title?

Tip of the fixture

Paddy Power are offering 17/10 odds for Barcelona to win and both teams to score.

(Odds correct at time of writing, subject to change).

Let's delve into the stats.

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Stat attack

Sensationally, the magisterial Lionel Messi is the fixture's top scorer with an… erm… slightly large margin of 17 - the Argentine has scored 25 goals against Los Rojillos in just 21 games, with Cameroonian talisman Samuel Eto'o sitting second with eight.

On the topic of goals, Ronald Koeman's side have dominated on the scoring front - of the 247 goals scored, Blaugrana have scored 180 (73%) with Osasuna finding the net 67 times.

The Catalonian outfit have also endured significant success in the 81 matches contested between the two teams since 1935, with a win ratio of 59% from their 49 victories, Arrasata's men have won just 16 (19%) with the fixture seeing 17 draws.

Osasuna haven't defeated their opponents at home in over nine years, with their last victory at El Sadar stadium coming in February, 2012 when they overcame Pep Guardiola's side 3-2.

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Notorious among the two teams for its high-scoring scorelines, the fixture has seen Barcelona score four or more goals against their opponents on 14 occasions, with their biggest win coming in an 8-0 scoreline at Camp Nou in September, 2011.

Ronald Koeman scored five goals himself against Los Rojillos in his playing career, can his team emulate his performances and find the net at the weekend?

Let's look at some recent enthralling encounters between the two.

Memorable matches

Barcelona 4-0 Osasuna

La Liga

November 29, 2020

In a week where the footballing world paid homage to the late great Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi paid a fitting tribute to his legendary compatriot and an ex-Barcelona man when he scored their final goal in a convincing home win over the Basque outfit.

Martin Braithwaite opened the scoring for Blaugrana on the half-hour mark, lofting the ball into an empty Osasuna net after a goalmouth scramble between the two teams, before Antoine Griezmann doubled their lead before half-time with a thunderous volley.

Continuing their relentless play in the second half, Barca went three goals to the good when Philippe Coutinho finished an exquisite team move as textbook Barcelona link-up play carved Los Rojillos open throughout the pitch.

Rounding off a convincing performance for the out-of-form Catalonians, Messi made it four with a scintillating strike across goal after a mazy run through the sea of Osasuna defenders before him.

As he wheeled away in celebration, the illustrious attacker revealed a Newell's Old Boys jersey under his kit - Messi's boyhood club for whom Maradona made a number of appearances - as he pointed to the sky to celebrate the career of one of the game's best ever.

The win moved Barcelona up to 7th as they fought to undo their early inconsistencies that hindered them so greatly at the start of this season.

Barcelona 7-1 Osasuna

La Liga

April 26, 2017

A trio of braces from Andre Gomes, Paco Alcacer and Lionel Messi helped Barcelona inflict a heavy 7-1 defeat on Osasuna at the Camp Nou as the northern Spaniards self-destructed.

Only two goals were scored in the first half and both went in favour of the home side, Messi opened the scoring in the 12th minute with his 501st goal for the club, capitalising on a defensive calamity to break the deadlock with an audacious lob and Gomes made it two before the break.

After the visitors were provided a lifeline through a superb free-kick from Roberto Torres, Blaugrana responded in emphatic fashion, striking five second-half goals to decimate Los Rojillos.

After Gomes and Messi both grabbed their second, Alcacer struck a quickfire double and Javier Mascherano scored his first goal in over six years for the club to keep Barca at the top of the table.

Barcelona 7-0 Osasuna

La Liga

March 16, 2014

Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi starred in another high-scoring clash in Catalonia as the defending champions continued in their pursuit of Real Madrid in order to retain their title.

Barcelona's superb South Americans gave them the perfect start as Messi and Alexis Sanchez grabbed early goals, before a super 25-yard strike from Andres Iniesta secured a three-goal advantage at the break.

It was business as usual for Gerardo Martino's side in the second half, as two more goals from Messi saw him overtake Paulino Alcantara as the club's highest goalscorer in competitive and non-competitive matches, surpassing the Filipino-Spaniard's tally of 369 goals.

Cristian Tello and Pedro added their names to the scoresheet late on as they thrashed Osasuna once again.

Osasuna 0-3 Barcelona

La Liga

December 10, 2016

A flurry of late goals for Blaugrana saw them leave El Sadar with a crucial victory in 2016, having not won in their last four games to provide a lifeline for Luis Enrique as they re-asserted themselves in the La Liga title race.

From the offset, it was evident that the game plan of Osasuna was to frustrate the visitors and secure a vital draw in northern Spain, and they were able to execute this… for all of 59 minutes. Luis Suarez tapped in to an open goal to break the deadlock.

Capitalising on their lead, Barca shifted into second gear through a usual suspect as Lionel Messi bagged a brilliant late brace, opening his account with a superb chip before grabbing his second in the first minute of injury time, after wriggling through Los Rojillos' defence.

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