FC Barcelona vs Alavés preview and predicted lineups

FC Barcelona vs Alavés. Who will come out on top? Can Barça get a win streak going and stay in the top 4?

FC Barcelona v CA Osasuna - LaLiga EA Sports
FC Barcelona v CA Osasuna - LaLiga EA Sports / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Yet another important La Liga matchup on the horizon for Xavi's FC Barcelona. The team travel to Vitoria, in Spain's Basque Country, to face off against Alavés.

With Athletic Bilbao nipping at their heels, it's imperative they keep up their winning ways to stay in the top 4. After Vitor Roque's first goal in Europe, which gave Barça the win against Osasuna, it'll be interesting to see how they line up. Xavi will be hard-pressed to change much, if anything at all, due to the injuries that have piled up. It's still vitally important for them to get the three points.

Real Madrid kept the pace against Getafe to keep the distance at the top at 10 points, but Atlético Madrid are level on points with Barça at 47. A win in this one, with an Atléti loss against Madrid in their next match, would vault the Catalan club into third place.

They'll get a little bit of a boost, as Iñigo Martínez, the Basque center back, will be back in the squad. However, they'll still be without Raphinha, Félix, and Ferran, so it's likely Lamine Yamal will start again. While it's a dangerous game playing Yamal so often and so much, it's hard to see what other options Xavi has. Maybe play Roque and Lewandowski up top and include Romeu in a 4-man midfield? Unfortunately, Lamine is too good to be denied, and he's Barça's best bet for offensive creation right now.

Alavés, on the other hand, are 11th in La Liga, but fresh off three straight wins. Samu Omorodion, the 19-year-old revelation, is a big, physical striker. He's also got some pace, as he showed off last match against Almería. He'll be a handful for Araújo to handle, but if anyone can limit him, it's the Uruguayan.

Barça Squad:

João Cancelo, R. Araújo, I. Martinez, Pedri, Lewandowski, Iñaki Peña,  Christensen, Fermín, Romeu, Vitor Roque, F. De Jong, Gündoğan, Kounde, Astralaga, Lamine Yamal, M. Casadó, Kochen, Cubarsí, Unai, Pau Víctor, Marc Guiu and H. Fort.

Predicted Lineups:

Barcelona: Peña; Koundé, Araújo, Christensen, Cancelo; De Jong, Gundogan, Pedri, Fermín; Yamal, Lewandowski.

Alavés: Sivera; Tenaglia, Marín, Duarte, López; Blanco, Guevara; Vicente, Guridi, Rioja; Omorodion.

The team played a bit better in the last match, especially defensively, keeping a clean sheet for the first time in (what felt like) forever. They're going to need to keep that up to maintain that fourth spot and put pressure on Atlético Madrid. I'm sure everyone will breathe a sigh of relief if they're in third place instead of fourth.

This game worries me a bit, especially with Omorodion in the middle. I wouldn't be too surprised if Alavés score, but I do predict a Barcelona win. This won't be a shootout like it was against Villareal, think more like against Osasuna. Something like 0-2 or 1-2 would be my guess. it remains to be seen if Xavi's men will come out with a win.