MADRID, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona will have to keep their eye on the ball in more ways than one when they entertain Osasuna in the Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday night.
Osasuna travel to the Camp Nou Stadium third from bottom of the BBVA Primera Liga table and battling to avoid relegation, but the side coached by Jose Luis Mendilibar has shown itself to be a tough nut to crack this campaign and few sides have been able to chalk up an easy victory against them.
Barcelona meanwhile booked a place in the semifinal of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night and the fact that game is against bitter rivals, Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will add extra spice to the affair.
Barca fielded virtually their strongest team in the quarterfinal return leg in Malaga on Thursday and logic says they will do the same in the Bernabeu, so we could see some changes this weekend.
One player who may be rested is Leo Messi, who ended Thursday's match with a slight muscle strain. Although it is not serious he will probably start Sunday on the bench to ensure he is in condition next week.
That could give a chance to either Christian Tello, David Villa or Alexis Sanchez to stake a claim, while in midfield, Thiago Alcantara will probably get a run out and Carles Puyol and Martin Montoya could start in defense.
Barca cannot afford to make too many changes, however, last weekend's first league defeat of the season in San Sebastian saw their lead over Atletico Madrid reduced to eight points: another defeat could put Atletico within striking distance of Barca and with Barca having to visit their Vicente Calderon Stadium later in the season.
Osasuna meanwhile will look to lack their defense while leaving Kike Sola to try and plow a lone furrow in attack. Mendilibar will not have forgotten how last season Barca inflicted an 8-0 thrashing on his side and will be looking to ensure this season there is no repeat of that horror-show.