La Liga: Barca to face high-flying Osasuna in last game before World Cup (preview)

Struggling former champions FC Barcelona will play their last game in La Liga before the FIFA World Cup finals when they visit Pamplona to face high-flying Osasuna on Tuesday night.

Barca travel after Gerard Pique’s emotional goodbye to the Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday night and coach Xavi Hernandez is likely to make some changes against a rival that is currently fifth in the table after an excellent start to the season.

Andreas Christensen and Eric Garcia are both likely to start for Barca, while Ansu Fati and Raphinha are options if Xavi wants to refresh the Barca attack.

Osasuna will look to striker Chimy Avila to bully the Barca back line, while Kike Garcia and Ante Budimir will also be present in the attack.

Elsewhere, Athletic Club Bilbao dropped out of the top six after their defeat in Girona last Friday night and coach Ernesto Valverde will be looking for a much-improved display when his side entertains Valladolid.

Iker Muniain is likely to be fit again and could come into the side, while Valverde has to decide who will play at full-back after the flanks leaked continually in Girona.

Valladolid travel in good spirits after their 2-1 win at home to Elche left the recently promoted side sitting comfortably in mid-table with 17 points, reports Xinhua.

The defeat in Valladolid cost Elche coach Jorge Almiron his job after less than a month in charge and Sergio Mantecon will be in the dugout for their home game against Girona.

Elche go into the game seven points adrift at the bottom of the table and desperately need a win for survival after the World Cup, while Girona impressed on Friday and will again look to get men forward in numbers to pressure Elche’s leaky defense.

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