Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Preview of Alaves vs Barcelona. We are heading towards the last game of this season for the La Liga competition. Real Madrid is already the Champions courtesy of their previous victory against Villareal. Barcelona also lost to Osasuna which further helped to take Real to La Liga championship. There is not much to play for in this game. However, our players and the managing staff need to put in something for the fans. There is a lot of frustration inside the Barca fan base, and the fans demand something positive.
We previously covered an article about how frustrated Messi was on the current condition of FC Barcelona. He mentioned in his interview that the team is not giving the fans what they want and also deserve. I think it is right. We want positive changes and we want them fast. Yes, we are going to stand with our team at their downfall, but that does not mean that we keep tolerating stupid decisions and poor performances. Barca has to perform well in the Champions League and it must start from this game. Barcelona needs to win this game convincingly.
Barcelona is heading to another away game after losing at their home against Osasuna. We have not been the greatest at away fixtures in this season. However, Barca broke the record of winning back to back away clashes under Quique Setien when they last faced Real Valladolid. Therefore, I have good hopes for this game as well. I think Barca can easily dominate Alaves if they play their cards right. Setien must show some serious behavior now. I think it is time for him to talk less and do more, or else leave.
ALAVES VS BARCELONA KICK OFF TIMINGS
Kickoff is going to come to us at 5 pm local time. This is the first time since football resumed that Barcelona is going to play at this time. It is going to be comparatively hotter than other fixtures we played. 5 pm is still evening time, but the weather is going to be pretty hot considering the intensity of summers in Spain. However, we cannot blame the sunlight or hot weather on our football performance. These are professional athletes and they must be able to perform under different scenarios.
I might sound a bit harsh, but this is what I truly feel after our previous performance.
ALAVES VS BARCELONA MATCH PREVIEW
Let’s just talk a little about Barcelona. We expect a lot from them heading into this fixture and the team knows what the fans are demanding. However, let’s just take a closer look at how can Barca prepare themselves for the final game of the season. We know that everything is wrong for us starting from managerial situations to many of our players. However, it is now time to put it all aside and enjoy a good final game of the season. Barcelona must prioritize winning this game by a bigger margin, and putting in a show for fans.
A big win in this fixture can lift the confidence of our players. It is also going to assure the fans that we can win against Napoli. It looks really difficult to get past Napoli considering the kind of performances we are putting in lately. However, the fans always support their team and players no matter what. A dominant win against Alaves can be a huge confidence boost for us, and it can also clear Setien’s name a bit. Setien is struggling with many things including his squad. He is traveling with only 16 players for this clash.
Setien has limited options to play in this squad. Ivan Rakitic, Pique, and Firpo are out due to the accumulation of 5 yellow cards. Furthermore, Setien does not have many rotation options. He cannot sub many players, and this shows that things are not the greatest on his end as well. We can blame the managers and players all we want, but sometimes we need to realize that they have to deal with problems as well. The squad list and rotation problems might make it a problem for Barcelona to put on a great show. However, I am still hopeful.
What to expect from Deportivo Alaves?
Deportivo has lost 3 of their 5 previous games. They won 1 against Real Betis (away) and drew against Getafe at home. This shows that they are on in the best of their form. However, Barcelona is not at its best either. Barcelona is struggling against smaller teams as well and they drop points in the most unlikely matches. So can Alaves benefit from this? It is fair enough to say that Alaves is having a terrible season. They never looked going and I think they are going to be on the back foot against Barcelona as well.
They have a good front line namely Joeslu and Lucas Perez. It is hard to predict or comprehend exactly how Alaves is going to play. This is because there is an uncertain situation at the club and the players look tired. However, Joselu and Perez are talented strikers and they can trouble the toughest of defenses. Barcelona is heading to this game with a slightly weaker defense as Gerrard Pique is out. Araujo is most likely to play in place of him and the strikers are going to try their best to make him uncomfortable.
There is nothing specifically there for Alaves to play for. They know that they had a terrible season and victory over Barca wouldn’t make any difference. However, they might be keen to trouble the already troubled Barcelona team. They might try to make life difficult for the players and defeat Barca for the sake of puns and memes. Therefore, Barcelona must stay strong and must dominate the opposition. I am not fully aware of their exact playing style and I already mentioned that it is hard to predict how they perform. Let’s wait and see what happens
ALAVES VS BARCELONA EXPECTED LINEUP
Ter Stegen is expected to start in goal. This is the last game before Ter prepares himself for the crucial encounter against Napoli in the Champions League. He is one of the best players in our squad and he truly deserves rest after an amazing season. I know that he has fewer clean sheets than Oblak and Thibaut. However, he is a hero and a savior to me. I always blame his less number of clean sheets on his defenders. I still stand by my opinion.
I think Araujo and Lenglet are going to start as the Center Backs. Gerrard is out due to suspension. However, the team is going to need him more from as the Napoli Champions League encounter is coming closer. I know Gerri is old and he has won everything. As a player, he might not feel as if he needs to put in extra hard work. However, his team is currently fragile and they need his seniority. Lenglet is a fighter and I hope he keeps playing well. Jordi and Semedo are going to start as full-backs.
I expect to see the trio of Busqi, Puig, and Vidal to start in the midfield. I think this midfield can click for us, not only in this fixture but in the Champions League as well. Puig deserves to play the Champions League matches and so does Ivan Rakitic. Busquests is going to be there for sure. I think Rakitic deserves a lot of appreciation for the improvements he has shown after coming back. However, he is out on suspension for this fixture.
Furthermore, Vidal is in a decent form as well. He is going to be used in this game as well.
This is a tricky one. However, I believe that Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, and Messi are going to start as front three in this game. Do you guys think that Messi is going to be rested so that he is fit enough for Napoli fixture? Or do you guys think that he needs a mental break? I cannot comment on that. I want to see Messi playing before La Liga ends and football goes off for a few days. Maybe, Suarez can start as a sub and Ansu Fati can play instead. Let’s wait and see what happens.
Anyway, guys, this is it from our side for the Alaves vs Barcelona Match Preview. I think we need to win this game badly and give the fans something to cheer about. However, I am not talking about the 0-1 win or something. We need to win by big margins and make sure that the fans watching the game are well entertained. No score predictions for this one. Let’s just wait and see what the team and the manager come up with.
Stay tuned for more Previews, Reviews, and other news related to FC Barcelona.
Until the next time guys, VISCA EL BARCA!