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Alaves - Barcelona Preview: The Catalans take on Segunda B side in Copa del Rey
Tito Vilanova's men have scored 10 goals in their last two away matches, and the head coach will likely tinker with his starting XI as they aim to progress in the cup
By Martin Macdonald
Rubio, Hernandez, Agustin, Luciano
J.Garcia, Beobide, M.Garcia
Montoya, Bartra, Song, Adriano
Dos Santos, Busquets, Espinosa
Tello, Villa, Sanchez
Tito Vilanova will be without influential defender Carles Puyol for Barcelona’s trip to Alaves in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday evening as the club captain is still currently sidelined after suffering a dislocated elbow.
Gerard Pique and Dani Alves returned to training from their respective injuries last week and may be given a run out in the cup match, but it is unlikely they will start. Thiago is still unavailable due to a long-term knee injury.
The Barcelona coach may use this opportunity to give the fringe and younger members of the squad an opportunity to impress so expect to see the likes of Marc Bartra, Cristian Tello and Jonathan dos Santos given a starting berth.
David Villa is in contention for a place in the starting line-up after opening the scoring in the Catalan side's 5-0 defeat of Rayo Vallecano on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, Alaves have been rocked by the news this week that striker Ruben Negredo will miss the majority of the season after picking up a knee ligament injury in training. Guzman and Borja Viguera may start in attack.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Alaves currently sit top of the Spanish Segunda B division with 24 points taken from 10 matches. They have won eight games and lost two in the league this season.
- The top goalscorer of Alaves this campaign is Spanish striker Guzman. The 27-year-old has netted four goals in nine games.
- The Basque club were runners up in the 2000/01 UEFA cup. They lost 5-4 to Liverpool in the tournament's sole golden goal climax.
- After the 5-0 demolition of Rayo on Saturday, Barcelona have now equalled their best ever start to a Liga season.
- Thanks to his brace against Rayo, Lionel Messi is now the 10th highest scorer in the history of the Spanish Primera division.
- Xavi reached a landmark for Barcelona at the weekend. In the 79th minute he netted his 75th goal for the Blaugrana.
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Top 3 Predictions
Deportivo Alavés 0-4 FC Barcelona
- 12.8 %
Deportivo Alavés 0-5 FC Barcelona
- 12.19 %
Deportivo Alavés 0-8 FC Barcelona
- 9.14 %
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Nov 28, 2012||FC Barcelona 3 - Deportivo Alavés 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Oct 30, 2012||Deportivo Alavés 0 - FC Barcelona 3|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 16, 2007||FC Barcelona 3 - Deportivo Alavés 2|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 10, 2007||Deportivo Alavés 0 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 22, 2006||FC Barcelona 2 - Deportivo Alavés 0|
|Nov 28, 2012||FC Barcelona 3 - Deportivo Alavés 1||ESPC|
|Oct 30, 2012||Deportivo Alavés 0 - FC Barcelona 3||ESPC|
|Jun 21, 2009||Albacete 1 - Deportivo Alavés 0||ESP2|
|Jun 13, 2009||Deportivo Alavés 1 - Alicante 0||ESP2|
|Jun 6, 2009||Celta 2 - Deportivo Alavés 1||ESP2|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|34||Jonathan Dos Santos||Midfielder|