By David Goulbourn
When: 12:30PM EST, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
Where: El Sadar Stadium, Pamplona, Spain
Betting Line: OFF
TV Coverage: beIN SPORTS en Español
Osasuna (3-8-21) welcome Real Sporting (5-7-20) to El Sadar Stadium on Saturday in an absolutely massive clash down at the bottom of the La Liga table as the sides in 20th and 18th go head to head in a relegation 6-pointer. The last time these 2 sides met was in December when Real Sporting ran out 3-1 winners at El Molinon thanks to 2 goals from Carlos Carmona and 1 from Douglas before a late consolation goal by Medhi Lacen reduced the deficit for Osasuna. Real Sporting manager Rubi would love a repeat of that result on Saturday as he looks to escape relegation.
Osasuna come into this game rooted to the foot of the table and are 10 points away from safety with just 6 games remaining. Manager Petar Vasiljević knows that his side are all but relegated and will have to win all of their remaining games if they are to have any chance of completing what would be one of the most miraculous escapes from relegation in history. Sporting Gijon on the other hand have a better chance of staying up and currently sit 5 points away from safety behind Leganes. Manager Rubi knows that his side must start winning games if they are to stay up and time is running out for a club who have won just 5 times all season.
Real Sporting come into this game having lost 3 games in a row and having won just 1 of their last 10 games. Last time out they put in a very spirited display against league leaders Real Madrid in a game which they lost 3-2 after a 90th minute goal from Isco broke Sporting Gijon hearts. Sporting Gijon will have been disappointed to lose a game in which they had led twice thanks to goals from Duje Cop and Mikel Vesga. Rubi knows that if his side can repeat that same performance this weekend then they should be able to beat bottom club Osasuna and give themselves a real chance of staying in the division.
Osasuna come into this game off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid which ended their mini-revival following back to back victories over Alaves and Leganes. Atletico Madrid rested a number of players for last weekends clash with one eye on their Champions League clash with Leicester City but still comfortably beat Osasuna, despite Osasuna goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu saving 2 penalties in the game. The club have surely left it too late to avoid relegation and would need a miracle to avoid the drop.
1. Osasuna have won just 3 games all season, the least in the whole of La Liga.
2. Real Sporting have won just 1 game away from home all season and that was against Leganes in February.
3. Osasuna have the worst home record in the whole of La Liga, having won just 1 of their 16 games and taking only 8 points in the process, 6 less than any other club.
Expect a tight affair here on Saturday in a game which both clubs must win if they are to stay up. I expect Sporting Gijon to just have the edge in this one, but it could go either way.
Real Sporting 2, Osasuna 1
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