Saturday afternoon sees an early preview of the Copa del Rey final as the two sides who will meet in the end of season showpiece will clash at the Estadio Mendizorroza.
Defending champions Barcelona qualified thanks to a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid, while Alaves made it through to their first ever domestic final after a tight 1-0 aggregate win over Celta Vigo on Wednesday evening.
The celebrations were effusive in the city of Vitoria and for a team who only returned to the Spanish top flight in the summer, Alaves have wildly over achieved. Thier top-flight status is all but secured, sitting 14 points above the relegation zone with Mauricio Pellegrino's men claiming some notable results this season.
Their most eye-catching game was a 2-1 win at Camp Nou in September where in truth they rode their luck, but took their chances brilliantly.
The Basques have also drawn home and away against Atletico Madrid, with the 0-0 against Los Rojiblancos in the last home league game an extremely impressive performace. Nevertheless Barcelona remain massive favorites for Saturday's clash with Paddy Power offering the visitors at just 2/7 (1.28) while Alaves can be backed at 8/1 (9.00) and the draw is offered at 9/2 (5.50).
Had this game come against any other team Alaves would probably have been forgiven for perhaps being a little distracted given their historic achievement, yet the fact that it is against the side they will be playing in the final means the Vitoria outfit will be highly motivated.
The Basques would surely have a mental advantage heading into the Copa del Rey final if they managed to avoid defeat in both league games against Barca.
What has been Alaves' weak point this season has been their goalscoring, and their total of nine goals scored at home this season is the third lowest in the division. Barcelona, meanwhile, have been scoring away from home - although on occasions leaving it pretty late.
Indeed, each of Barca's last four away games in La Liga have seen Luis Enrique's men net in injury time, and the price of 10/11 (1.91) for the last goal to come after the 76th minute should appeal. This bet has paid out in eight of the Blaugrana's last 10 league matches on the road and should have a great chance of doing so once more.
|Last goal scored after 76th minute at 10/11 (1.91) for a 2.5pt stake with Paddy Power|