La Liga

Barcelona vs Alaves: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Tom Gott
Sergi Barjuan is now in charge
Sergi Barjuan is now in charge / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

Barcelona begin their post-Ronald Koeman era with a visit from Alaves on Saturday evening.

A third defeat in four games ultimately cost Koeman his job on Wednesday, with B-team boss Sergi Barjuan put in temporary control while the club push ahead with a deal to bring former midfielder Xavi back to Camp Nou.

On the pitch, Barcelona will be up against a struggling Alaves side who lost seven of their first eight La Liga games but have since put together a run of two straight victories, so spirits are slowly rising among Javier Calleja's side.

Here's everything you need to know about this one.

How to watch Barcelona vs Alaves on TV/live stream

When is kick off? Saturday 30 October, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Camp Nou
TV channel/live stream? La Liga TV (UK), ESPN+ (US)
Highlights? La Liga YouTube channel, La Liga Highlights (Sky Sports, 2 November)
Referee? Jorge Figueroa

Barcelona team news

Ousmane Dembele
Dembele may be in line to return / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Barjuan's preferred starting XI is anyone's guess, but the interim boss has more than a few enforced absences to contend with.

Frenkie de Jong (hamstring), Ronald Araujo (hamstring), Pedri (hamstring) and Martin Braithwaite (knee) are all expected to miss out, while there are major doubts over Ansu Fati (knee) and Sergi Roberto (muscle).

Ousmane Dembele is being tipped to make the squad after recovering from his own hamstring injury, but he's unlikely to start just yet.

Alaves team news

Fernando Pacheco
Pacheco had an injury scare against Elche / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco is expected to feature after being forced off late on last time out against Elche, so Alaves shouldn't have many issues to contend with for this one.

Expect the boss to opt for a squad similar to the one that beat Elche as Calleja looks to build up some much-needed momentum after a shocking start to the season.

Barcelona vs Alaves predicted lineups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Garcia, Alba; Busquets, Puig, Gavi; Demir, Aguero, Memphis

Alaves: Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Moya, Loum; Pellistri, Garcia, Rioja; Joselu

Barcelona vs Alaves head-to-head record

Antoine Griezmann, Tachi
Barcelona have rarely struggled against Alaves / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

Barcelona have only failed to beat Alaves twice in the last 16 meetings between the two sides, with one of those rare instances coming last season when they played out a 1-1 draw almost 12 months to the day before this one.

Koeman's side got their revenge later in the season, however, roaring to a 5-1 victory at Camp Nou courtesy of doubles from Lionel Messi and Francisco Trincao and an extra from Junior Firpo - none of whom are actually at the club anymore.

For Alaves' last win in the fixture, you have to head back to the early weeks of the 2016/17 season, when they rocked up to Camp Nou and secured a surprise 2-1 victory against a severely depleted Barcelona side.

Barcelona vs Alaves score prediction

Gerard Pique
Barcelona are favourites to win this one / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

This promises to be fascinating viewing. The negativity surrounding Koeman is gone, but the reality is that this Barcelona squad is simply not as good as it once was, and it will be interesting to see how much that shows up in a new system.

Having said that, there's absolutely no way that Barcelona shouldn't be winning this one fairly comfortably. They might be in turmoil, but they are comfortably the better team and can expect to score a good few goals here.

Alaves are figuring themselves out after an abysmal start to the season, but they're not on the same level as Barcelona. Anything less than a convincing win for Barjuan's side would be an enormous surprise.

Prediction: Barcelona 3-0 Alaves