Updates from Friday, Feb. 7
Barcelona confirmed that Alba's appeal was rejected:
The Appeals Committee has rejected Barça’s appeal on Friday and Jordi Alba’s suspension stands. This means that the full back will be unable to play in Sunday’s game away to Sevilla. The player was sent off for two bookable offences in last weekend’s game with Valencia.
Updates from Monday, Feb. 3
Barcelona have confirmed that they will appeal Jordi Alba's red card vs. Valencia:
FC Barcelona to appeal Jordi Alba's red card http://t.co/IHKKMo0bRt— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 3, 2014
Barcelona's Saturday couldn't have gone worse. Not only did they lose to Valencia 3-2, but they also saw left-back Jordi Alba sent off after he accumulated two yellow cards.
From the team's official Twitter account:
Min 77: Alba gets his second yellow. Barça are down to 10 men. #FCBlive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 1, 2014
The question is, how will they fare in Alba's absence?
Truthfully, they'll probably be just fine. Adriano has played 15 matches for Barcelona between the Champions League and La Liga at left-back, earning a 7.39 average match rating from WhoScored with a goal and two assists.
Contrast that to Alba, who has earned a 7.17 average match rating from WhoScored with an assist in nine La Liga contests.
Now, there are a couple of things to consider here. First, Alba missed a good chunk of this season with a hamstring injury, hence the small number of La Liga appearances. And it's pretty hard to replicate his blinding pace up the left wing, which Barca will certainly miss.
But he was also in poor form against Valencia, earning just a 5.4 match rating from WhoScored for his efforts. And, at times, having both Alba and Dani Alves in the game together leaves Barcelona vulnerable at the back since both players like to get forward and join the attack.
After his performance against Valencia, more than a few Barca fans will probably be happy to see him take a seat.
And more than a few Barca fans will be frustrated with this team of late. In their last four league matches, the Catalans have taken just five of a possible 12 points and seem likely to not only fall out of first place, but possibly move down to third after Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid play over the weekend.
At this point, Barca fans won't care who is able or unable to play, they'll just expect more positive results—and soon. At the moment, the La Liga title race has tipped the way of the Madrid clubs.