Barcelona and Alaves Play in the Copa del Rey FinalPublished May 27, 2017 by Florin P
Barcelona chases the only trophy still available as they take on Alaves in the Copa del Rey Final (8:30 p.m UK Time).
Barcelona lost the championship and also suffered an untimely elimination from the Champions League. This is by any standards a poor season for the former Spanish champions, but they can still salvage something. The only trophy within their reach is the Copa del Rey and in order to grab it, they will have to defeat the stringy Alaves. The small team has exceeded expectations after promoting to the Spanish first division and it has prepared for this match since April.
Backline Issues Defensive Hurt Barcelona
Barcelona has conceded too many goals this season to win the first division and many of these goals were allowed in front of their fans. This is particularly troubling after the terrible start against Eibar and Luis Enrique is ready to make some changes. The Copa del Rey Final will be played on the road and Barcelona seems to be more careful when playing away from home.
Suarez is unavailable for this match, after picking up a red card in the semifinals. His absence won’t go unnoticed, despite the fact that Barcelona has plenty of options up front. Messi and Neymar are going to spearhead the attack, with four midfielders and just as many defenders completing the rotation.
Alaves has Bolstered its Defenses
Alaves is clearly the underdog and both the players and the manager are aware of the situation. They will play accordingly and try to avoid early goals, while scoring on the counterattack. They have a strong track record against Barcelona, scoring twice in the last three games, although the Catalans have won twice.
The head to head record favors Barcelona, but Alaves did a fine job in Copa del Rey matches. In order to keep themselves alive in this struggle, they will need to protect their own half and that’s exactly what they’ll be doing. With Suarez missing and Alaves preparing for 90 minute siege, the best bet is on fewer than 3.5 goals to be scored at odds of 3/5 at bet365 Sports.