24 April 2019
The Europa League promotion battlers and La Liga toppers go head-to-head this midweek as Deportivo Alaves tackle Barcelona at the Estadio Mendizorrotza.
Level with seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao in terms of points, the hosts have to make something out of this clash if looking to secure a top-seven finish. However, Babazorros’ run of poor form is the reason they’ve tumbled down the pecking order, with Abelardo’s men failing to pick up all three points in all five of their previous LL outings (D2, L3). Alaves’ drop-off in form is a consequence of disappointing defensive displays that have seen them concede 2+ match goals in four of their last five league meetings. What’s more, El Glorioso are winless in their last five LL home clashes (D4, L1) with Abelardo’s players scoring 2+ match goals just once in that period.
Meanwhile, the visitors seem to be on the verge of defending the league title as they sit top of the table with a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, with five LL fixtures left to go. Unbeaten in all 16 of their LL clashes in 2019 (W12, D4), reigning holders remain the only unbeaten team in the Spanish top-tier competition since the turn of the year. The Catalans now look to post their sixth consecutive win over Alaves in competitive H2H meetings, as they also try to stretch their unbeaten LL road run to 14 consecutive games (W8, D5). Surprisingly, three of Barcelona’s last five competitive away games have featured under 1.5 goals, with the Blaugrana netting precisely four goals in the remaining two.
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