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There was a time when Spanish disembarked in Pamplona –With hundreds of parrots who had sold out tickets in half an hour– ready to save themselves, before a Osasuna meek on half board. It was the time of innocence. An 8-M of 2020, in which the rojillos smeared the feet of the parrots with the cement of the descent only six days after everyone was left without an audience, without breath, perhaps without freedom. Today, only ten months but half a life later, they meet again in the Cup, although paradoxically with the First division more present than ever (follow the game live on As.com).
Only the field factor, favorable to the lower category team, reveals on which board Espanyol and Osasuna are currently playing. Vicente Moreno, so restrained that he hides his calls until almost game time, he let his imagination fly in the preview – “it must be nice to win a title with Espanyol,” he said – although pragmatism will lead you to mix LaLiga headlines with those who are less so, because if something has been achieved is that few players feel substitutes. Oier, the Cup goalkeeper, will play, Lluís will return, sanctioned in the last league match, and Fran Mérida will be reunited with her former teammates. From here, pools, with Raúl de Tomás as the great unknown.
If the league competition for the parakeets is a priority, it is almost the only thing on the table for the rojillos. For this reason, Jagoba Arrasate by Sergio Herrera, Aridane or Moncayola is dispensed with. Neither does Brandon Thomas, but in his case because he is on the way to reinforcing Leganes, direct rival of Espanyol. But an Enric Gallego will appear in Cornellà who knows the city well – and who could have been a local on the stage of the match – or Budimir, and Manu Sánchez will make his debut, on loan from Atlético.
Despite the fact that the Cup appears right now as a kind of fly in Osasuna’s soup, the truth is that until now it has actually been his oasis in a very turbulent season. The victories against Tomares and Olot they have been the only respite in a terrible league streak, which reaches 12 games without a win. And falling with a crash, even if it seems like a secondary tournament, ends up affecting the main competition: that they tell Espanyol and their bluff last year in Wolverhampton…
Thus, without a mere glimpse of the public from the previous occasion – the local club requested it from the Generalitat, but it has not prospered. And with the executioner in LaLiga last season, Espanyol receives an Osasuna who imitates his steps, almost 12 months later, with the desire to remove him from the Cup but, above all, to check his real level against an opponent of superior category and to retaliate for those tasks not today but next season, meeting again in First.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.