Barcelona may have a brilliant record against Alaves, but even another convincing victory on Sunday won’t mask the bitter disappointment of this season. The Blaugrana have surrendered their title to arch rivals Real Madrid with a game to spare, so can their hosts this weekend take advantage of their opponents’ despondency to record a rare victory over the Catalan giants?
Where and when: Mendizorrotza – 19 July, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Alaves vs. Barcelona: Premier Sports
Last time: Barca cruised to a 4-1 victory when the teams met at the Nou Camp just before Christmas, with Antoine Griezmann, Arturo Vidal, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez all on target.
Alaves v Barcelona Predictions and Preview
Three successive La Liga titles are not to be. In the end, Barcelona yielded to Clasico rivals Real Madrid with little more than a whimper, with Thursday’s defeat at home to Osasuna encapsulating the mood of their season perfectly. With their visitors down in the dumps and both star player and manager acknowledging how wrong things are at the club, Alaves will look to capitalise in this final league game of the season.
The mood at Alaves is the exact opposite to their visitors. Los Babazorros beat Real Betis 2-1 away from home in midweek, securing their top-flight status in the process. They are four points clear of 17th-placed Leganes going into this last match, so the pressure is firmly off Juan Muniz and his players.
Alaves had been on an awful run of form prior to that, failing to win any of their previous seven matches, losing six. They’d only picked up four points from their first nine games of the restart, but the three they secured on Thursday were gigantic. The home team are 5/1 to follow them up with three more by taking the victory in this one.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Under 2.5 goals
Alaves to win 2-1
Messi to score first
Despite their struggles, Barcelona remain the heavy favourites at 4/7 in the latest betting odds. They trail Madrid by seven points heading into the final weekend of the domestic season, and with their heads hanging low in defeat. Lionel Messi openly criticised his manger, the tactics and his team’s weakness after succumbing to Osasuna last time out, while Quique Setien also admitted he was unsure whether he’d still be in charge of the club for next month’s Champions League.
Even so, Barca have a superb record against Alaves over recent years, winning each of the last seven meetings between the sides. They have scored 22 goals during that run, at an average of 3.14 per game, while conceding only three goals and keeping four clean sheets at the other end. Barca are 21/2 to banish some of their demons with a 3-0 win here.
The deposed champions need to quickly rediscover their mojo if they’re going to stand any chance of recapturing the Champions League, although the days running up to this game are likely to be uncomfortable for everyone connected to the club. With that in mind, a draw could be on the cards in this game, and it’s priced at 17/5. If Barca are unmotivated and Alaves are already on the beach, a goalless draw could be worth a look at 14/1.
One to watch for Alaves: Lucas Perez has enjoyed his best season in years, following his disastrous spell in the Premier League. He has 11 La Liga goals to his name so far this term, and is 9/1 to open the scoring in this game.
One to watch for Barcelona: Usually when the world is questioning Barcelona, Lionel Messi stands up and ensures everyone knows he is the main man. He’s on course to pick up the Pichichi four the fourth successive time, and seventh in total, and 29/10 to break the deadlock on Sunday.
Long shot: Alaves last beat Barcelona with a 2-1 victory at the Nou Camp in September 2016, while they also scored two goals in their two most recent home wins against the Catalans. The hosts are 18/1 to win this game 2-1, rising to 189/1 with Joselu scoring first.