FC Barcelona (3rd, 43pts) vs Deportivo Alavés (16th, 22pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Friday
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 23
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo (out), Sergiño Dest, Miralem Pjanic, Martin Braithwaite (doubt)
Alavés Outs & Doubts: Rodrigo Ely (out)
Date/Time: Saturday, February 13, 2021, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Sunday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Jorge Figueroa Vázquez
VAR: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a disappointing Copa del Rey loss to Sevilla in midweek, Barcelona return to action in La Liga looking to continue a fantastic run of results as they welcome struggling Alavés to Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barça are on a great run in the league: 11 games without a loss, 29 of 33 points and six wins in a row, many of them on the road against very good teams. The Blaugrana have been playing some of their best stuff in La Liga in quite some time, and even the insane amount of injuries and the non-stop nature of this pandemic schedule doesn’t seem to slow this team down.
The Blaugrana face an Alavés team that’s struggled all season and have just one win in their last seven games, and have scored just 19 goals in 22 games so far. They did hold on to a 1-1 draw with 10 men against Barça earlier this season, but that was back in October when the Catalans were still looking for answers.
Sevilla loss aside, Barça have played much better as of late, and even though there’s a massive Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain next Tuesday, the Blaugrana will take this one seriously to try and extend their unbeaten streak and continue to stay close enough to leaders Atlético Madrid, who drew at home last week and could struggle for the first time all season as they deal with a Covid-19 outbreak.
Alavés will not go down easy and Barça will have to be at their best, and the hope is they can kill the game early to maybe save some energy for Tuesday. This should be a good one, and Barça have a great chance to stay hot in the league.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, De Jong, Pedri; Trincão, Messi, Griezmann
Alavés (4-4-2): Pacheco; Martín, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Méndez, Pina, García, Rioja; Pérez, Joselu
Alavés haven’t been good lately and I really think Barça are locked in when it comes to La Liga games right now: 3-0 to the good guys.