Barcelona vs Alaves predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the hosts begin life after Ronald Koeman.
|Saturday 30th October 2021
|21:00 (local time)
Barcelona vs Alaves Preview
Barcelona are in action at Camp Nou this weekend as they begin life after Ronald Koeman with a home game against Alaves. It was a sad ending for the Dutchman and the Barcelona board seemingly felt as though they could not leave it any longer before removing him after a midweek defeat in Vallecas.
A change was always going to be likely at the point when Barcelona’s potential to finish in the top four was cast into serious doubt and it’s safe to say that was the case after Wednesday night. A 1-0 defeat at Rayo Vallecano following on from a home Clasico loss was their third defeat in four matches in LaLiga. While these problems are by no means all of Koeman’s making, the team’s failings on the pitch were getting increasingly hard to ignore and Joan Laporta clearly felt he had to bite the bullet and take on further financial losses by paying Koeman off in an attempt to avoid the doomsday scenario of no Champions League football in 2022/23.
In the short-term, attention turns to this match which will see Barcelona most likely under the guidance of B team boss Sergi Barjuan. The Catalans can’t really afford to see more points slip away during a transitional period so Barjuan will need to come up with an effective gameplan to win this game. However it’s expected that club legend Xavi Hernandez will soon be in the Barcelona dugout providing a termination agreement can be reached with his current employers, Qatar’s Al Sadd.
Alaves will probably be hoping that deal takes some time as you’d imagine Xavi’s presence, even in the stands, would lift this crowd and most likely this Barcelona team too. Alaves travel to Catalonia in better spirits in any case following badly needed back-to-back victories over the course of the past week. They won 2-0 at Cadiz last weekend thanks to a brace from Joselu before a 1-0 home win against Elche with Mamadou Loum on target.
They really appear to have found their feet after a miserable start to the season. The defensive improvements have been clear for all to see in recent weeks with just 2 goals conceded in their last 5 matches. Barcelona will therefore have to be a bit patient here as they look to break down Alaves’ defence and they can expect to have a barrage of long balls and crosses to deal with given the visitors tend to play very direct at times with Joselu the target.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 5 Barcelona Wins, 1 Draw.
- Barcelona won this fixture 5-1 in March.
- They’ve won 11 of their last 12 home games against Alaves.
- The exception was a surprise 2-1 win for the Basque side in September 2016.
Pedri and Ronaldo Araujo are missing for Barcelona while Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati are nearing fitness again and could feature.
Alaves have a slight doubt over keeper Fernando Pacheco but otherwise should be at full strength.
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup:
Sivera – Laguardia, Miazga, Ximo – Duarte, Rioja, Loum, Moya, Martin – Joselu, De la Fuente (3-5-2)
Predicted Alaves Starting Lineup:
Ter Stegen – Alba, Pique, Garcia, Dest – De Jong, Gavi, Busquets – Depay, Aguero, Coutinho (4-3-3)
Barcelona vs Alaves Predictions
Score Prediction: Barcelona 1-0 Alaves
Alaves are defending better and they will back themselves to come here and frustrate Barcelona for long periods. The Catalans aren’t going to suddenly become a brilliant football team again just because Ronald Koeman is no longer in the dugout. It’s going to take time to turn this ship around but they should still have enough quality in this match to find a breakthrough at home to a team expected to struggle.