Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Prediction: Alaves vs Barcelona

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 22 Jan 2022

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Verdict: Barcelona win

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: Unibet

Desperate to try and find a boost on the road this weekend, Barcelona will make the trip to the Mendizorrotza when they face off against Alaves on Sunday night.

Alaves

Starting with the hosts, while Alaves might have just about managed to extend on their La Liga status last season, El Glorioso once again find themselves at the heart of a relegation scrap. Putting in a hugely worrying display earlier in the week as they were blown away thanks to a 4-0 drumming against Real Betis on the road, Head Coach José Luis Mendilibar has quite the job on his hands. Sat three points adrift of safety when opening this weekend’s fixtures, fans around the Mendizorrotza now find their side in the midst of an eight-match winless run across all formats, a run that stems back to the end of November. Now tipped as a leading relegation pick by many across Spain this season, Sunday’s hosts have also mustered just a trio of points from their last seven La Liga outings. While Alaves might have snatched a 1-1 draw when they made the trip to the Nou Camp earlier in the season, Mendilibar’s men will know that they face a tough test here.

Team News

Alaves have confirmed that the duo of Ruben Duarte and Ximo Navarro will once again miss out through injury on Sunday night.

However, aside from that José Luis Mendilibar has no other issues to worry about here.

Barcelona

As for the visitors, suffering extra-time heartbreak against both Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid over the past week, Barcelona will be hoping to find a La Liga boost here. However, while the Spanish giants might have made the decision to bring back Xavi back in November, the former European champions are in a real uphill battle to clinch a top-four finish. Last seen on top-flight duties having to settle for a 1-1 draw away at Granada, Sunday’s guests have won just one of their last five matchups against La Liga opposition. Knowing that they really can not afford many more slip-ups in 2022, Xavi will have a growing headache over his side’s struggles at the back. Still dealing with some public issues behind the scenes at the Nou Camp, Barcelona have recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their last 12 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to November 23rd. However, it should be noted, the Spanish giants are unbeaten in each of their previous 11 meetings against Alaves.

Team News

The defensive trio of Samuel Umtiti, Eric Garcia and Sergi Roberto will once again miss out here.

Likewise, Dutch forward Memphis Depay remains a doubt on Sunday night and could undergo a late fitness test.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Barcelona and Alaves played out a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp.
    • However, Barca are unbeaten in each of their last 11 straight meetings against Alaves, a run that stems back to 2016.
    • Alaves have lost each of their last eight matchups across all formats.
    • Likewise, Barcelona have recorded just a single clean sheet from any of their last 12 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to November 23rd.
    • Four of the last five meetings between Sunday’s opponents have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    Suffering real heartbreak at the hands of Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid over the past week, Barcelona will be desperately seeking a boost here. Knowing that they’re still in an uphill battle to secure another top-four finish this season, the former La Liga champions should at least be smelling a chance at the Mendizorrotza. Despite playing out a 1-1 draw when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Xavi’s men do hold an overall rampant record against Alaves. Unbeaten in each of their last 11 meetings against the relegation scrappers, a run that stems back to 2016, we’re backing an away victory here.

    Verdict: Barcelona win

    Best Odds: 4/7

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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