Alaves vs Granada predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the hosts target survival.
|Date||Sunday 16th May 2021|
|Kick-Off||18:30 (local time)|
Alaves vs Granada Preview
A very relieved Deportivo Alavés side hosts Granada on matchday 37 in what is the last match of the season at the Mendizorrotza. After conquering a crucial relegation six-pointer at Elche on Tuesday, Alavés find themselves 15th in the standings with 35 points, four clear of the drop zone. A win on Sunday will secure LaLiga football for the sixth consecutive season, the best-ever streak in Alavés history, surpassing the five seasons from 1998 to 2003.
After spending 12 matchdays in the relegation zone and employing three managers this season, Deportivo Alavés can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Javi Calleja’s arrival has brought 12 points in 7 matches and only one defeat, while rising from 20th to 15th place. Having led Villarreal to 5th place and Europa League qualification last year and reviving this Alavés side from rock bottom this year, Calleja is fast making his name as one of the hot managerial properties in Spanish football.
On Tuesday, his men cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win at the Martínez Valero, their first away win in the league since beating Real Madrid at the Valdebebas in November. Joselu and Luis Rioja made all the difference, scoring and assisting each other for the two goals on either side of half time. The always-reliable Joselu’s goal tally reached double digits for the second consecutive season as he once again proves to be El Glorioso’s best player of the season.
Merely a month ago Alavés looked like the worst team in the league. Their transformation has been really impressive. Even if they lose on Sunday, survival could be confirmed if all three relegation zone sides – Elche, Eibar and Valladolid fail to win their games.
Granada’s hope for back-to-back European qualifications were somewhat revived after their thrilling 2-1 win at the Camp Nou last month. However, three successive defeats since then have seen them drop out of the race. It’s been a difficult but a very successful season at the Nuevo Los Cármenes. Injuries are continuing to ravage Diego Martínez’s squad and that’s not a surprise since they’re the Spanish team to have played the most number of matches this season at 56. In these grueling last ten months, El Graná have played some admirable football, reaching the quarter finals in both the Europa League and the Copa del Rey, while also sitting comfortably in 10th position in LaLiga.
Even after getting knocked out of Europe, there’s no respite from tight scheduling. Sunday will be their third match in six days. This week, Granada lost to a late Borja Iglesias winner at Betis before they were thrashed 4-1 by Real Madrid on Thursday night.
Granada still have something to fight for – a top-half finish in LaLiga, something which they’ve never managed in consecutive years. What an icing on the cake that would be in this already unbelievable season.
Head to Head
- Last 5 Competitive Meetings: 1 Alavés Win, 4 Granada Wins.
- Granada have won all of the last 4 meetings.
- They won the reverse fixture 2-1 earlier this term.
- Alavés haven’t beaten Granada since a 3-1 home win in 2016.
Rodrigo Battaglia returns from suspension for Alavés. Iñigo Córdoba, Javi López and Rodrigo Ely are injured. Burgui is a doubt while Édgar Méndez is suspended.
For Granada, Luis Milla, Carlos Neva and Jesús Vallejo continue to be sidelined. Yangel Herrera, Kenedy and Ángel Montoro are doubts. Víctor Díaz tested positive for COVID-19 while Roberto Soldado is still suspended.
Predicted Alaves Starting Lineup:
Pacheco – Duarte, Lejeune, Laguardia, Aguirregabiria – Battaglia, Pina, Pons – Rioja, Joselu, Jota (4-3-3)
Predicted Granada Starting Lineup:
Silva – Quini, Nehuén, Duarte, Foulquier – Gonalons, Eteki – Soro, Quina, Puertas – Suárez (4-2-3-1)
Alaves vs Granada Prediction: Alaves to Win 2-1
Alavés are high on confidence and need this win more than Granada, which might make the difference on the day. We also need to factor in the two days of extra rest Alavés have had than Granada in preparation for the game. Granada also have a lot of players missing and Diego Martínez could slightly rotate his playing XI in order to tackle his squad’s end-of-season fatigue.