In what is quickly becoming a lost season for Barcelona following Xavi’s announcement that he’ll be resigning as manager at the end of the season, finding out how to motivate the side will be critical in a tough away trip to Alaves. Thriving since their promotion from the second division, Alaves have won five of their 10 home matches this season, while Barcelona have struggled on the road winning five matches and drawing five.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
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How to watch and odds
- Date: Saturday, Feb. 3 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio de Mendizorroza– Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
- TV: None | Live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Alaves +300; Draw +250; Barcelona -110
Alaves: On loan striker Samuel Omorodion will need to be central to the match if Alaves are to get a result. With seven goals this season, the 19-year-old has been a revelation since joining on loan from Atletico Madrid. Backed up by Kike Garcia, there is no shortage of attacking firepower in this Alaves side if they’re allowed space. Considering how frail Barcelona has been defensively as of late, Omorodion will have a few chances to score.
Barcelona: With Joao Felix now injured, Xavi may need to bubblewrap his team ahead of facing Napoli in Champions Leauge. This is Barcelona’s injury list at the moment; Felix, Marcos Alonso, Raphinha, Sergi Roberto, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Inigo Martinez, Gavi, Ferran Torres, and Alex Balde. Considering that there’s a keeper in that crew, Xavi can make almost an entire team just from his injured players. While Barcelona do have depth, with this many key players missing, it’s no surprise that they’re struggling in matches that they should control and this will be no different.
Alaves will strike first leading at the half before Barcelona eventually draws level but both teams will leave disappointed as the points will be shared. Pick: Alaves 2, Barcelona 2