All eyes will be on the Estadio Olímpico de Sevilla (La Cartuja), Spain on Saturday night as Real Madrid play Osasuna in a RFEF Copa del Rey final for the first time. It is Madrid’s first appearance in the Spanish Copa decider in a decade. We look ahead to the Copa del Rey final with our Opta preview and prediction.
Real Madrid vs Osasuna: Quick Stats
- Real Madrid have a 100% record against Osasuna in the Copa del Rey with eight wins from eight.
- This will be Real Madrid’s 40th Copa del Rey final and Osasuna’s second.
- The supercomputer gives Real Madrid a 70.1% chance of winning their first Copa del Rey crown in 10 years.
The Copa del Rey was Carlo Ancelotti’s first trophy with Real Madrid. There’s a chance it might be his last too. Real Madrid’s tame title defence ended before it ever got going. FC Barcelona will win La Liga, and that has been accepted as fact around the halls of the Santiago Bernabéu since shortly after the World Cup. But cup competition often offers redemption and if Ancelotti could seal Madrid’s 20th Copa del Rey title, it would help to ease the pain of watching Barca stroll to a La Liga title. They also have the small matter of a UEFA Champions League semi-final against Manchester City to think about next week.
For some, the business end of the season is code for tension and anxiety. For Real Madrid, they’re ready to get the party started.
They play Osasuna on Saturday night at Estadio Olímpico de Sevilla. Temperatures are starting to rise in Spain with the summer on the horizon so the Spanish football federation have set the game for 22:00 local time. Osasuna will contest the final for just the second time in their history. The last time they made it this far, back in 2004-05, they were beaten by an extra-time goal by Real Betis.
Real Madrid’s trophy case is bulging with European Cups, La Liga titles and a variety of other trophies, but they haven’t added a Copa del Rey to the cabinet since 2013-14. The famous Gareth Bale goal in extra-time versus Barcelona sealed the title for them on that occasion, but they haven’t even made a final since. They have won the competition just twice in the last 30 years.
What hurts most for Real Madrid is that Barcelona and Lionel Messi collected five of the last eight Copa del Reys with Valencia, Real Sociedad and Real Betis winning the other three.
The good news for them is that they have beaten Osasuna on all eight occasions they have faced them in the Copa del Rey, scoring 25 goals (3.1 per game) in those contests.
Real Madrid booked their place in the final with a comprehensive victory over Barcelona in the semi-final. They lost the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu but thumped Xavi’s side 4-0 at the Camp Nou. Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick on the night.
Osasuna’s path to the final was fraught with tension. An Abde Ezzalzouli strike gave them victory in the first leg of their semi-final against Athletic Club. Iñaki Williams levelled the tie in the first half of the second leg before Pablo Ibañez scored his first and only goal of the season in extra-time to send Osasuna to the final.
Real Madrid are sweating over the fitness of Luka Modrić, who is suffering from a hamstring injury and might not make it back in time. Madrid’s statistics when the Croatian doesn’t start are starkly different to those when he does. Their win percentage drops from 77.4% to 54.5% when he’s not on the field from kick-off.
Paths to the Final
- 1-0 victory over Cacereño in the round of 32.
- 3-2 victory over Villarreal in the last 16.
- 3-1 win over Atlético Madrid quarter-final.
- 4-1 (0-1) agg win over Barcelona in the semi-final
- 2-1 win over Gimnàstic in the round of 32.
- 2-2 against Real Betis in the round of 16. They won 4-2 on penalties.
- 2-1 win over Sevilla in the quarter-final.
- 2-1 (1-0) agg win over Athletic Bilbao in the semi-final.
Osasuna 0-2 Real Madrid: 18 February 2023 (La Liga)
The last time these two teams met, Madrid won the game 2-0 with goals from Federico Valverde and Marco Asensio. Osasuna did make them work for the three points, and it wasn’t until the last 20 that Real Madrid took the lead and doubled it through Asensio late on. The meeting before that ended in a 1-1 draw, but Real Madrid have not lost in any of their last 18 games against Osasuna (13 wins, five draws).
Real Madrid are in a delicate situation domestically. The league is over with Barcelona 14 points clear of them in third. Atlético Madrid’s victory over Cadíz on Wednesday sent them a point clear of the reigning champions. Madrid have City on Tuesday in the Champions League after Pep Guardiola’s side play Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday.
Osasuna have lost three and won three of their six games since beating Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey semi-final at the beginning of April. Those losses came to Rayo Vallecano, Real Sociedad and Barcelona. They’ve lost two in a row heading into the game on Saturday night against Real Madrid and are currently sitting ninth in La Liga, five points outside a Europa League spot.
Real Madrid: Vinícius Júnior
Carlo Ancelotti is still waiting on the fitness of Luka Modrić, and whether the Croatian can make it or not will go a long way in influencing how the Italian manager decides to play. There are question marks over Real Madrid’s starting XI, but there is no doubt that Vinícius Júnior will start and his performance will go a long way to deciding the outcome of this game. He has played 4,277 minutes so far this season, which is the most by a La Liga player across all competitions.
The Brazilian leads Real Madrid in attacking sequence involvements and has a nice spread of his own shots, chances created and involvement in the build up to shots. His presence will condition how Osasuna play, and they have first-hand knowledge of the damage he can do. He has been involved in a goal in each of the last three games he has played against Osasuna.
Osasuna: Moi Gómez
Osasuna are a team with no individual superstar. They have players who can shine like Chimy Ávila, who has scored eight goals this season, and Kike Barja, who has seven assists, but none of them have the je ne sais quoi required to reach the level of talisman. Aimar Oroz is another young midfielder who has developed into a starter under Jagoba Arrasate this year, and Jon Moncayola is an important part of the midfield.
But one player with the requisite experience and ability to really hurt Real Madrid on Saturday night is Moi Gómez, who signed from Villarreal in the summer.
He leads the team in expected assists with 5.06 this season and is the player who Osasuna rely on to progress the ball in the opposition half of the field. He has the most successful passes ending in the final third at the club this season with 438, which is over 100 more than Moncayola with 324. He also leads the team in attacking sequence involvements.
Real Madrid vs Osasuna Prediction
The supercomputer expects Real Madrid to make it nine out of nine against Osasuna in the Copa del Rey on Saturday night in Seville. It gives Real Madrid a 70.1% of winning the game.
There’s a 20.1% chance of a draw, which would go to penalties, and Osasuna have just a 9.8% chance of winning their first ever Campeonato de España, that illustrious title handed out by the federación every year.