BET OF THE DAY

Liven up your Thursday by taking on the mighty Barcelona

Feeling brave? Excellent, there’s 17/2 to be had on Barca losing...

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Constantly winning silverware can get a bit tiresome after a while it would appear, so Barcelona took a break from that slog earlier this week to pick up some personal honours instead.

Lionel Messi was forced to come up with some fresh material – not easy, believe us – for yet another Ballon d’Or acceptance speech, while Pep Guardiola appeared a tad surprised to pip Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson to coach of the year, despite embarrassing both of their sides.

They have to put the excitement of that glitzy FIFA party behind them though because while most spend Thursday night with their feet up plotting a wild weekend ahead, they have to go through the motions in the second leg of a Copa del Rey tie that’s already won.

Barca picked a strong side for the home leg of their clash with Osasuna and inevitably won 4-0, Mr Best in the World 2009, 2010 and 2011 coming off the bench for a 31-minute cameo and finding the net twice (is that all?).

So all they require tonight is to avoid conceding four goals, whereas Osasuna have that whole issue of feeling the need to restore pride which is barely wounded anyway by a loss of that magnitude to one of La Liga’s top two.

Barcelona are a skinny 1/3 with some bookmakers but Osasuna haven’t lost at home since last April and currently find themselves in Champions League contention in La Liga. Their visitors’ domestic away form has been rotten by their standards, with just three wins in eight against top-tier teams.

William Hill offer a positively gargantuan 17/2 on unbeaten hosts defeating what will probably be a group of no-doubt talented youngsters performing as a Barcelona tribute act.

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