Alaves vs. Barcelona Tips, Preview and Predictions

Alaves vs. Barcelona, La Liga

Barcelona will be looking to put behind their 3-2 El Classico defeat in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final on Sunday evening, when Xavi’s side travel to Mendizorrozza to face a struggling Alaves side in La Liga. The Catalans are only one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and must win at all costs, while the Basque side dropped into the relegation zone after failing to win each of their last nine games.

Where and when: Mendizorrozza – 23 January, kick-off 20:00

Where you can see Alaves vs. Barcelona: La Liga TV

Last time: Memphis Depay’s strike wasn’t enough for Barcelona the last time those teams met, as Luis Rioja’s second-half goal earned Alaves a 1-1 surprising draw at Nou Camp back in October.

Alaves v Barcelona and Preview

Barcelona really put Real Madrid to the test in the first semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup. However, despite taking the game to extra-time, Federico Valverde’s strike eventually made the difference as Los Blancos earned a memorable 3-2 victory.

The defeat was another blow to what promises to be the most disappointing season in Barcelona’s recent history, as the Catalans were already eliminated from the Champions League and are still outside of the top four race in La Liga.

The Super Cup mini-tournament took place in Saudi Arabia and Xavi’s men only returned to Spain last week, which means that they might not be at their best when facing Alaves during the weekend, especially considering that Barca also face Athletic Bilbao away from home in the Copa del Rey on Thursday evening.

La Blaugrana currently sit in sixth place with 32 points, only one behind Atletico Madrid, who occupy the last Champions League spot. This means that the trip to Alaves is a crucial one for Barcelona, but Xavi will have to do without the injured Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umptiti, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia.

Barcelona are undefeated in their last five games in the league, but at the same time won only two of those, so consistency remains to be an issue for Xavi's side. Facing an Alaves team, who have the second-worst attack in La Liga with only 16 goals scored should definitely help the Catalans' cause, but Jose Luis Mendilibar's men already held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at Nou Camp back in October.

Alaves are winless in their last nine league games, losing five them - a streak that saw the Basque side dropping to 18th place with 17 points. Although Mendilibar's boys are only one point behind Getafe, who are just above the danger zone, things aren't looking good for them at the moment and the tactician might even lose his job if things don't improve quickly.

The hosts are heavy 5/1 outsiders in this Alaves vs Barcelona preview. Another draw between those teams would be a huge disappointment for Barcelona and can be backed up at 3/1, while despite their inconsistencies Xavi's men are firm 11/20 favourites to get three points on Sunday evening.

One to watch for Alaves: Joselu's 10 strikes mean that the Spanish strikes has netted 63% of Alaves' goals this term. The Basque side need their start player to perform if they are about to avoid the drop at the end of the season, so watch out for the 31-year-old to break the deadlock against Barcelona at 15/2.

One to watch for Barcelona Ansu Fati managed only five La Liga appearances this term, but the youngster's has really made an impact when on the pitch with his three goals. The 19-year-old also scored in the 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid in the Super Cup semi-final and is 5/1 to break the deadlock in this Alaves vs Barcelona preview.

Long shot: Two of the last three meetings between those teams, including the last one ended in 1-1 draws. Additionally Alaves drew 1-1 in two of their last three games, while the same applies for two of Barcelona's last three games on the road. A repeat of that score on Sunday is available at 7/1, with the odds raising to 69/1 if you add Joselu as first scorer.

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