Match Preview: The Catalans will host Alaves at Camp Nou for their La Liga fixture
FC Barcelona will host Alaves at Camp Nou on Saturday in their La Liga game after sacking Ronald Koeman on Wednesday following their defeat to Rayo Vallecano. Sergi Barjuan, the B team coach is in charge in the interim and Xavi is most likely to take the managerial role from the game against Celta next weekend.
A 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano has kept Barcelona in ninth place in the league, with 15 points. They are six points behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad and have a mountain to climb at this stage in the season. Also, their form in Europe isn’t good either, since they could only manage a narrow 1-0 win at home against Dynamo Kyiv last week. Koeman’s departure is not a surprise by any means for the fans, as many would say “It was long overdue”.
The 2-1 home defeat to rivals Real Madrid was not enough, and Laporta reportedly sacked Koeman on the flight back from Vallecano. Sergi Barjuan is in charge for the next two games until Xavi comes in to replace him. Albert Capellas will coach the B team in the meantime. A record of four wins, three draws and three defeats from 10 matches has seen the Catalan outfit collect 15 points.
On the other hand, Alaves suffered a 5-1 defeat on their last visit to the Camp Nou, but they’ll be looking to inflict damage on the Catalans given the circumstances and form the home side have been displaying. Javi Calleja’s side is actually the only side in La Liga yet to draw a match this term, having won three and lost seven of their 10 fixtures. This has brought them nine points and left them in the 16th spot on the table. Alaves are entering this game with back-to-back wins against Cadiz and Elche and will be looking for their third in a row.
Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Ronald Araujo, Pedri, Martin Braithwaite and Ousmane Dembele are not involved in the squad.
Fernando Pacheco is expected to be fit for the game.
Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Garcia, Alba; Busquets, Gavi, Roberto; Demir, Aguero, Memphis
Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Moya, Loum; Pellistri, Garcia, Rioja; Joselu