Barcelona v Alaves: Match Preview, Predictions, Venue & Where to Watch Details | LaLiga 2018/19
Barcelona will begin their La Liga defence on Saturday when Deportivo Alaves visit Camp Nou. Spanish football will wake up to a different era after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, which only means Lionel Messi now has no equal.
While Messi and co. will look to pile pressure on their competitors by setting the pace, Alaves will be aiming for a top 10 finish, after having successfully claimed their La Liga status last term.
Barcelona v Alaves: Kick-Off information
Date: 18th August
Time: 22:15 (local time), 1:45 (IST)
Venue: Nou Camp
Live stream: Live on La Liga's Facebook Page
Barcelona v Alaves: Team news
Having recently been given the armband, Messi is in line to start the game. Meanwhile, summer signing Arturo Vidal is expected to make his La Liga debut.
Sergi Roberto will miss out due to suspension.
Ibai Gomez, who scored at Camp Nou in 2016, is sidelined due to injury. Rodrigo Ely, too, is ruled out. Tomas Pina should start at the heart of midfield.
Borja Baston and John Guidetti will battle it out for the number 9 spot.
Barcelona v Alaves: Probable Lineups
Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen, Alba, Umtiti, Pique, Semedo, Busquets, Coutinho, Rakitic, Dembele, Messi, Suarez.
Alaves (4-1-4-1): Pacheco, Laguardia, Navarro, Maripan, Aguirregabiria, Pina, Burgui, Wakaso, Garcia, Sobrino, Guidetti
Barcelona v Alaves: Form Guide
Last 5 matches (in all competitions)
Barcelona v Alaves: Head-to-Head
Barcelona wins: 9
Alaves wins: 1
Barcelona v Alaves: Key Players
Barcelona: If there's one player to watch out for, it's Luis Suarez. His excellent movement coupled with astute presence in the opposition penalty area makes him one of the deadliest strikers in world football. Speaking in terms of link-up play, no other side in Europe, arguably, does it like Coutinho, Suarez and Messi.
Alaves: The onus will be on Víctor Laguardia to stop Messi's inventive genius. He is known for his physicality and aerial abilities, but the 28-year-old will have to track every movement of Messi in order to nullify the Argentine's threat. He will be key to his side's outcomes.
Barcelona v Alaves: Prediction
With the high-octane brand of football Barcelona play, the Catalan club are expected to batter Alaves. The energy from Rakitic and Coutinho along with Dembele's explosive pace and Suarez's sharpness seems to be more than enough to destroy Abelardo Fernandez's side.
Also, expect them to dominate chunks of possession, which means the visitors will express little or no threat while going forward.
Predicted score: Barcelona 3-0 Alaves
Published 17 Aug 2018, 17:23 IST