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Alaves vs Barcelona
Time – India: 1:30 AM (Sunday); UK: 9:00 PM (Saturday)
A week before, Ronald Koeman’s “new-look” Barcelona welcomed bitterest rivals, Real Madrid, to the Camp Nou, hoping to capitalise on Los Blancos’ unexpected misfortunes.
Only minutes into the match, they realised how challenging the task was going to be. Finally, when the full-time whistle blew, the hosts had been comprehensively outplayed and beaten 3-1.
Three days later, they dusted themselves off and went into battle at Juventus in the Champions League. Playing without Cristiano Ronaldo, Juve didn’t pose much of a threat and were beaten 2-0 by the Blaugrana.
Alaves vs Barcelona: Head-to-head
Total matches: 23
Alaves wins: 4
Barcelona wins: 17
As made evident by the numbers above, Deportivo Alaves and Barcelona aren’t exactly cut from the same cloth. Barcelona, thanks to their glitterati of superstars and fancy tactics, have always been almost impossible to handle for Alaves.
The Blaugrana have won 10 of their last 11 matches against Alaves, scoring a whopping 34 goals. Alaves, in contrast, last won against Barcelona back in 2016, somehow conjuring a 2-1 win away from home.
Alaves vs Barcelona: Recent form
Alaves: W-L-W-L-D (Most recent first)
Barcelona: W-L-L-D-W (Most recent first)
Barcelona and Alaves are currently tied on points, with both sides picking up only seven points in La Liga. Barcelona, however, have played two games fewer than Saturday’s hosts.
Both sides are coming into the weekend’s fixture on the back of 2-0 wins and would look to keep their winning run going.
Alaves vs Barcelona: Team news
Saturday night’s hosts are in top shape at the moment and don’t have much to worry about in terms of injuries. Midfielder, Pere Pons, is the only one injured and would miss the fixture.
The 27-year-old is set to recover from his foot injury by the third week of December.
Absentees: Pere Pons
First choice goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, is slowly and steadily returning to fitness. He even joined the team training on Friday. But the German would still need a few more days to reclaim his spot in the team.
Philippe Coutinho, who has been one of Barcelona’s most impressive performers, picked up a hamstring injury and would miss the trip to Alaves. Centre-back, Samuel Umtiti has also rejoined first-team training but isn’t ready for first-team football yet.
Absentees: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho
Alaves vs Barcelona: Probable XI
Alaves: Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Mendez, Pina, Battaglia, Jota; Perez, Joselu
Barcelona: Neto; Roberto, Lenglet, Pique, Dest; Pjanic, De Jong; Fati, Griezmann, Pedri; Messi;
Alaves vs Barcelona: Where to watch
India: No Telecast
UK: La Liga TV (Premier Sports)
Stream in India: Facebook Watch on Facebook
Stream in the UK: Premier Sports Player
Alaves vs Barcelona: Prediction
Both sides have been exceptionally ordinary in La Liga, so far. Despite starting the season strongly, Barcelona have failed to find their footing in the last three league matches, picking up a single point from the available nine.
However, in spite of their domestic misfortunes, the Blaugrana will start the match as overwhelming favourites and should walk away with all three points, quite comfortably.
Alaves, too, have some tricks up their sleeves. But we’re not sure they have what it takes to keep the 26-time champions at bay. We predict a 3-1 win for Ronald Koeman’s boys.
Alaves vs Barcelona predicted scoreline: 1-3