real Madrid and Osasuna They will compete this Saturday (10:00 p.m., La Cartuja stadium) for a title with a different meaning for both. The rojillos, who are looking to debut their record after 103 years of history, are living a sweet stage with a calm and exciting environment under the command of a man from the land, Jagoba Arrasate. Opposite emerges Real Madrid from Carlo Ancelottiwho seeks to close the circle completing in just two seasons the achievement of all possible club titles with this Cup.
Madrid lands with a rarefied atmosphere in which There is more talk of candidates to replace the Italian, whose team has deflated in the League, and of the Champions League semifinals who will measure Guardiola and Haaland’s Manchester City starting next Tuesday. A competition, the Cup, which has been reviled in recent times by whites, They have only won two titles in the last 23 years and have accumulated notorious setbacks such as the Centenariazo in 2002, the resounding fiasco against Zaragoza in 2004 or the Atleticide in 2013 at the Bernabéu against Simeone’s team.
Ancelotti, whose speech to the players on the La Cartuja pitch was longer than usual, emphasized it in the press room: “I always think and tell the players that it may be the last final they play and there is We have to go out and enjoy it. We can close a very nice circle by winning everything in two seasons”. Also He spoke about his future, sending a message to sailors: “My future is very clear, I have a contract until 2024.”
Madrid is a favorite despite the fact that in recent games they have lost all their defensive credibility. The Italian coach warned that his team will only be able to fight for the titles if there is “defensive commitment” and in recent games it has been lacking. The whites have conceded eight goals in three games (four from Girona, two from Almería and two from Real Sociedad). With Alaba fresh out of his third injury this season, with Militao pointed out by Ancelotti himself (“He has to wake up… soon”), with Carvajal sent off in Donosti to cap off a horrible season and patching up the left lane with Camavinga and Nacho , the expectations are disturbing. Even Courtois seems to have lost his aura.
Modric, risk without forcing
For this match, Modric is a doubt, since he has recovered, but he does not want to risk having him play both games against City in ten days. If he doesn’t play, Kroos could be accompanied by Valverde and Ceballos. Above Rodrygo has punched the table and is indisputable along with Vinicius and Benzema. They have plenty of offensive potential, but defensively they are a lazy team.
Osasuna, for his part, arrives with fired ambition and without giving up anything. Its captain, the brand new international David García, does not hide the fact that “I have dreamed of lifting the Cup. I saw the previous one at the Calderón from the stands when I was 11 years old and now we want to make the fans happy”. Arrasate has the loss of right-back Nacho Vidal, who has damaged the long adductor in his left leg, and everything indicates that his replacement will be Jon Moncayola. Nor will Brasanac.
Osasuna wants to “extend” the game
The rojillos are clear, as their coach warned, that His options are “to make the game long against Madrid. Demand from them and make the game uncomfortable. But it won’t be easy”. Ancelotti’s men are not attracted to the idea, since City awaits them on Tuesday and they don’t want to arrive very demanding for the Cup. Osasuna has already played four extra time in this Cup and would not mind playing a fifth. “It’s important that it doesn’t end soon and make the game long. If we can reach penalties we have a point in favor with our goalkeepers”added David Garcia.
If defense is Madrid’s weak point, Osasuna can boast of being an unbeatable team. The Arrasate team is the only team in the five major European leagues that has not conceded a goal in the first half of its games in 2023. And a lot of blame for this lies with its goalkeepers, Sergio Herrera and Andrés Fernández. Jagoba has rotated both during the season, but everything indicates that in this final he will be Herrera, who also has significant statistics with Karim Benzema, who has saved three penalties throughout his career, two in the same game. The Osasunista is a specialist when it comes to stopping penalties, displaying a striking statistic: throughout his career 33 have been thrown at him (not counting penalty shootouts), stopping 10. 33% effective. Important data if the game is resolved in the shootout, as happened last season between Betis and Valencia.
Even the cabals are on the side of the enthusiastic rojillo fans. As long as you’ve won the League the Naplesa team from Madrid has lost the Cup final. Madrid did it against Barça in 89-90, the same thing happened to Atlético against Real Sociedad in 86-87 on penalties and the embers of the Neapolitan party that won the scudetto for the third time on Wednesday are still lit . Real Madrid is playing to close the circle. Osasuna crown its history.