Saturday, October 31, 2020

Prediction: Alaves vs Barcelona

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 19 Jul 2020

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Verdict: Barcelona win and under 4.5 goals 

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Simply looking to end their season on a high, Barcelona will be looking for an immediate response when they make the trip to an empty Estadio de Mendizorroza on Sunday afternoon.

Alaves

Starting with the hosts, picking up what could turn out to be a crucial 2-1 victory against Real Betis in midweek, Alaves finally have some breathing space over the bottom-three. Holding a four-point buffer over the drop with just two La Liga contests remaining, Juan Muñiz’s men are a side simply looking to find some stability at the back end of the campaign. While Babazorros might have managed to bring a much-needed end to what was a woeful run of form earlier in the week, Alaves have lost six of their last eight top-flight appearances and have continued to show some worrying issues on home soil. Including back-to-back defeats against Osasuna and Granada at the Estadio de Mendizorroza, Sunday’s hosts have failed to record a single strike in Vitoria-Gasteiz over their last three consecutive appearances. In for what should be an extremely tough test this weekend, Alaves should also be concerned by what is a worrying record against the now-former champions. Including a 4-1 drumming at the Nou Camp earlier in the season, Babazorros have lost their last seven straight meetings against the Spanish giants.

Team News

After being shown a straight red card against Betis earlier in the week, Rodrigo Ely will miss the remainder of the season due to suspension.

The trio of Javier Lopez, Ximo Navarro and Ismael Gutierrez all face late fitness tests.

Barcelona

As for the visitors, putting in a worrying display in midweek and hit with a shock 2-1 defeat at home against Osasuna, there is no doubt that the mood in Barcelona’s camp will be at a real low. Watching bitter rivals Real Madrid snatch their La Liga crown earlier in the week, Quique Setién’s men have won just four of their last eight top-flight contests, dropping points against the likes of Celta Vigo and Sevilla. With it appearing that are some real problems behind the scenes at the Nou Camp, the former Real Betis boss will have a growing headache over his side’s recent struggles in the final third. While attacking talisman Lionel Messi may have managed to bag a consolation strike against Osasuna in midweek, the Spanish giants have failed to bag more than a single strike in their last three La Liga contests on the bounce, their worst run of the season so far. Simply looking to end their season on a high, one of Setién’s major problems this year has been his side’s inconsistencies on the road. Since opening 2020, Sunday’s hosts have managed to win just four of their previous 10 contests outside of Catalonia.

Team News

Barcelona look set to be without both Antoine Griezmann and Samuel Umtiti who are suffering with injury issues.

Elsewhere, Sunday’s guests will once again be without Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic and Junior Firpo who are all still serving suspensions.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including a 4-1 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Barcelona have won each of their last seven meetings against Sunday’s hosts.
  • Alaves have lost six of their last eight La Liga appearances.
  • Along with failing to win any of their last three contests on home soil, Babazorros have failed to record a single strike in any of those trio of appearances.
  • Barcelona have failed to bag more than a single goal in their last three La Liga matchups on the bounce.
  • None of the previous nine meetings between Barcelona and Alaves at the Estadio de Mendizorroza have seen both teams find the net by the final whistle.

Conclusion

While Barcelona might be a side low on confidence after what has been a devastating campaign at the Nou Camp, there is no doubt that Sunday’s guests will be looking to make a much-needed return to winning ways this weekend. With Alaves continuing to show some worrying issues on home soil at the back end of the campaign, the relegation outsiders will also be concerned by their woeful record against the now-former La Liga champions. With Sunday’s guests picking up a rampant 4-1 win when they welcomed Babazorros to the Nou Camp earlier in the season, Quique Setién’s men have won each of their last seven straight contests against Alaves and we’re backing a similar outcome this weekend.

Verdict: Barcelona win and under 4.5 goals

Best Odds: 21/10

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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