La Liga: Alaves Vs FC Barcelona – Match preview

La Liga: Alaves Vs FC Barcelona – Match preview

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23 Jan 2022
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Alaves vs Barcelona

Away defensive struggles have become somewhat normal for Barcelona this season after conceding in eight of their ten La Liga away matches.

Alaves

Alaves return to action on the back of suffering their heaviest La Liga defeat of the season – a 4-0 loss at Real Betis – and remain in the midst of a nine-game winless league run. Another failure to win in this clash would equal the club’s previous longest winless sequence in a single La Liga campaign which came back in May 2003, though taking inspiration from the 1-1 reverse H2H scoreline could help stop the rot. The relegation-threatened hosts had picked up ten points in four La Liga games prior to this nine-game run, form that needs reprising if they’re to avoid the top-flight drop for the first time since 2005/06.

 

This venue has at least brought the best out of Alavés this season as they’ve taken 71 per cent of their La Liga points on their own turf, so a return home for this matchup will be welcomed.

FC Barcelona

Sitting just outside the top five, Barcelona still need to improve after being dumped out of the Copa del Rey courtesy of a 3-2 defeat in midweek. Their swinging fortunes and the relapse of injuries to key players could further hamper their hopes of improving upon a current five-game unbeaten La Liga run, whilst two of those draws in that run saw Barça drop vital points despite scoring first – the same scenario seen in the reverse H2H. Away defensive struggles have become somewhat normal for Barcelona this season after conceding in eight of their ten La Liga away matches.

 

That may change here if history is a precursor, as Xavi’s side have kept six clean sheets across their last seven La Liga H2H visits to Alavés since their last H2H La Liga away loss back in December 2001!

 

Luis Rioja has scored in his last three La Liga H2Hs, each time as Alaves’ only scorer which helped to earn two 1-1 draw. New signing Ferran Torres opened his Barcelona account with the opening match goal in midweek. Alavés have failed to score before half-time in nine of their last 11 LL home matches.

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