21 December 2019
Barcelona welcome out-of-sorts Deportivo Alaves to the Camp Nou this weekend, looking extend their unbeaten La Liga (LL) run to seven consecutive games.
But, Barca’s dip in form has seen them play out back-to-back LL draws after picking up four straight league triumphs, but they still sit top of the table, level on points with Real Madrid. Indeed, Real managed to shut the Catalans out in the midweek’s El Clasico, which was the first time since the LL curtain-raiser that Ernesto Valverde’s men drew a blank in a top-flight match. Although a goalless draw with arch-rivals halted Barcelona’s 100% home LL start (W7), they remain one of just two Spanish sides that are yet to taste home defeat across all competitions this term (W9, D2). Barcelona must be thrilled to have Alaves coming to the Camp Nou at this point, as the Catalans have won nine of their last ten competitive home H2Hs (W9, L1), scoring two or more goals in each of those successes.
The visitors travel to Catalonia on a run of three consecutive league games without a win (D1, L2) and will face a daunting task of ending that streak here. The ‘Babazorros’ have not only suffered five consecutive defeats in top-flight H2Hs with Barcelona, but they’ve also conceded at least two goals on each of those occasions, drawing a blank four times in the process. Furthermore, Asier Garitano’s players have lost six of eight LL road trips this season (W1, D1), failing to find the net in half of those defeats (3). ‘El Glorioso’ are unlikely to reverse their fortunes now mainly because of their fragile defense that has allowed over 1.5 match goals in six LL away games already.
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