Following such big victories over Sevilla both in La Liga and the Copa del Rey, Barcelona feel invincible. However, tonight, there’s another huge challenge ahead of them in the form of Osasuna. Needless to say, victory is a must if the Catalans are to put more pressure on Atletico Madrid and start gaining on them in the title race.
But these games can often be big traps for the favourites, especially since Barcelona are coming from a huge high. It’s not unusual for a team to stumble in their very next game following a major win because sometimes, they simply let their guard down.
Still, that is not the only danger of visiting Pamplona tonight. The stats, unfortunately, do not favour the Azulgrana either. So far, they have played a total of 44 games at the El Sadar Stadium against Osasuna but came out victorious on only 17 occasions. Further 14 were draws and 13 times Osasuna managed to get a big scalp for their trophy room.
It goes without saying, for that reason, that tonight will be very tough. The opponent is tricky, the team may be psychologically exhausted and the stats are not exactly too kind on Barcelona as well. All of this points towards struggle but this is where champions are born.
If the Catalans are truly to challenge Atletico Madrid in the race, they need to be able to win such games. Let’s hope Ronald Koeman’s troops are up to the task. We may even expect some rotations from the Dutchman if he is to keep the squad as fresh as possible.
Looking at the opposition that lies ahead in the schedule, that could even be a wise thing to do. Of course, the ultimate decision is his.
And then, hopefully, once everything is done and dusted, we can welcome the new president with even more positive feelings.
Let’s do this.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas talks summer transfers and fan return to stadiums
In a conference held by ADEA Forum (Association of managers and executives of Aragon) in Zaragoza, Javier Tebas spoke on a wide range of topics surrounding La Liga.
Mostly, the La Liga president spoke regarding the league’s bounce back from the pandemic and some potential plans for the league to restore public crowds. He also discussed the losses incurred, the summer transfers, among other things.
The Condition of La Liga
Tebas started the conference by claiming that the situation for the Spanish league is comparatively better than other leagues.
Speaking on this, he said, “The situation is worrying, but not so much. I think that of this pandemic the Spanish League is the one that is going to turn out less badly compared to the others.”
He then spoke about the losses incurred in Spanish football, with the net loss amounting to €1 billion by the 30th of September.
On the losses, Tebas said, “Of this billion, 750 have been financed by banks or investment funds, the latter the majority based in London, and the rest have been done by the clubs pulling their cash.”
Additionally, he mentioned that it was big clubs that were affected stronger than the smaller clubs, due to the huge loss of income from the lack of crowds, among other profitable economic activities that clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona enjoy above others.
A return for crowds to stadiums
When speaking on a return of crowds to stadiums, the La Liga chief seemed tremendously confident in their ability to host crowds as early as tomorrow. He claimed that they would have to run at between 20% to 30% capacity; nonetheless, the Spaniard was confident that teams would be more than capable of hosting crowds very soon.
Speaking on the same, he said, “There is a working group for the return [of fans] to the stadiums. I hope that in the last league games we can see the public in a proportional amount.”
Upcoming transfer window
Speaking on the summer transfer window, the president claimed that there will indeed be a lower amount of transfers as there were in the previous window. Tebas said, “They have already been lower in winter. There may be occasional and exceptional operations, but globally it will decrease. There will be exchanges of players. It’s going to be lower than last year.”
Accordingly, clubs are going to have to dig into their academy reserves more and more as the global and financial situations amend over time.