Regaining possession is, of course, never a bad thing, but the circumstances in which the ball is won back can vary greatly. For example, managing to turn possession over in your own box isn’t the same as pick pocketing the opposition’s last defender high up the pitch. It’s worth noting just how well CA Osasuna perform when it comes to forcing the opposition into mistakes near their own goal. The Navarran outfit’s high-intensity game and defensive efforts place them amongst the division’s top five teams in terms of recoveries in advantageous positions.
Estadio de la Cerámica
Estadio ABANCA Balaídos
RCD Espanyol de Barcelona
Estadio de la Cerámica
Both the Yellow Submarine and Los Rojillos have enjoyed dream starts to the campaign and head into this contest brimming with confidence. It is well worth noting that Villarreal are the only team in the division who remain unbeaten, with possession-based football, defensive solidity and goalscoring efficiency amongst the hallmarks of Unai Emery’s impressive side. Indeed, Los Groguets boast the highest possession duration stats in LaLiga Santander, whilst they have bagged themselves a place amongst the league’s top three teams for possession per match. The fact that the Castellon outfit are the division’s most effective side in terms of defensive containment and are ranked in second spot in the chance conversion standings make them a challenging prospect for opposition sides.
Visitors Osasuna come into the encounter in fine fettle and are earning themselves a reputation as a fearless unit. The Navarrans boast the highest possession percentage in the opposition’s half and have also excelled in terms of crosses and through balls as they lead the way in both departments. Indeed, the team’s latest triumph came courtesy of an injury-time winner that saw Manu Sanchez gobble up an inviting cross. Meanwhile, the
Pamplona-based side have chalked up the second most recoveries in the top flight.
Both of these teams play an attacking brand of football. Indeed, Villarreal occupy fourth spot in terms of the average number of players involved per possession. Unai Emery’s men boast the top tier’s largest convex hull ratio when in possession and feature amongst the competition’s leading three teams in terms of the average distance of short passes and the team to have covered the greatest distance at highest intensity (28km/h).
Meanwhile, one of Osasuna’s biggest assets is their ability to regain possession in the opposition’s half. Indeed, Los Rojillos feature amongst the top five teams in the division when it comes to the number of dangerous recoveries, as well as being amongst the leading three sides in terms of the percentage of dangerous possessions that end in a goal.
Arnaut Danjuma secured a move to LaLiga Santander this summer intent on establishing himself as a goalscoring hero and the Dutch attacker has hit the ground running, netting four goals in his six appearances, including the brace he notched last time out as Villarreal saw off Real Betis in a 2-0 success. The speedy left-winger features amongst the division’s top five goalscorers and the league’s top 10 players in terms of shots on target, whilst he creates more dangerous actions than any of his teammates.