Barcelona welcome Deportivo Alavés for their final La Liga home game of 2019.
Ernesto Valverde’s men currently lead the championship, albeit level on points with nemesis Real Madrid, and will be looking to end the year in style.
Alavés, meanwhile, find themselves below mid-table and on a disappointing run of form having accumulated one point from the last 12 available.
Read on for our Barcelona v Alaves preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.
When is Barcelona vs Alaves and where can I watch live?
Competition: La Liga
Venue: Camp Nou
Date: Saturday, 21 December 2019
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Barcelona vs Alaves
23 April 2019: Alaves 0-2 Barcelona (La Liga)
18 August 2018: Barcelona 3-0 Alaves (La Liga)
28 January 2018: Barcelona 2-1 Alaves (La Liga)
26 August 2017: Alaves 0-2 Barcelona (La Liga)
27 May 2017: Barcelona 3-1 Alaves (Copa del Rey)
Aggregate Score: Barcelona (WWWWW) 12-2 Alaves (LLLLL)
Ones to watch
Barcelona: Lionel Messi
It seems everything positive Barcelona do still runs through Lionel Messi who is showing no signs of waning. Heading into this latest showdown with Alaves, he’s failed to either score or create a goal in two league outings from 12 this season although one of those occasions was in the goalless Clasico on Wednesday night
Key stat: Lionel Messi is averaging a goal every 83 minutes in La Liga this season.
Alaves: Mubarak Wakaso
If Alaves are to get anything they will need to be defensively assured, key to this is stopping the ball getting to Messi and company, having an integral role will be midfielder Mubarak Wakaso who’s been making an impact of late.
The Ghanaian is combative in midfield, though this has sometimes worked against him, with Wakaso already receiving eight yellow cards and one red card in La Liga this season.
Key stat: Only Casemiro (61) has made more tackles than Wakaso (48) in La Liga this season.
Arthur, Ousmane Dembélé and Ansu Fati are all missing for Barcelona with the latter suffering a hip injury in midweek. Sergio Busquets is expected to return to Valverde’s starting XI after being an unused substitute in the goalless draw with Real Madrid.
Confirmed XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Vidal, Alena; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
Tomás Pina is the only player unavailable to Asier Garitano when he takes his Alaves side to the Camp Nou this weekend. Víctor Laguardia is back from suspension and could retain his place in the heart of their defence.
Confirmed XI: Pacheco; Aguirregabiria, Ely, Navarro, Duarte; Vidal, Munoz, Pons, Garcia, Wakaso; Perez
A goalless draw with arch-rivals Real Madrid ended Barcelona’s impressive 14-match winning streak at home in the league. Alavés, who have lost six of their last seven La Liga games on the road, should not pose too much of a problem for the defending champions.
Scoreline prediction: Barcelona 3-0 Alaves