Barcelona vs. Alaves: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJanuary 27, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 25:  Philippe Coutinho of Barcelonain in action during the Spanish Copa del Rey Quarter Final Second Leg match between Barcelona and Espanyol at Camp Nou on January 25, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona welcome Alaves to Camp Nou on Sunday, as Ernesto Valverde's league leaders look to make it 21 games without defeat in La Liga.

Both teams go into the game having experienced differing fortunes in the Copa del Rey. Barcelona overturned a 1-0 deficit to beat Espanyol 2-1 on aggregate on Thursday, while Alaves beat Valencia 2-1 on Wednesday but went out on penalties.

Here's a look at how you can watch the game, followed by team news and a full match preview.

                

Date: Sunday, January 28

Time: 7:45 p.m GMT, 2:45 p.m. ET

TV: Sky Sports Football (UK),  beIN SPORTS (U.S.)

Live Stream:  Sky Go (UK), beIN Sports Connect (U.S.)

              

Team News

Barcelona's injury problems are easing, with just Thomas Vermaelen and Ousmane Dembele sidelined. 

Samuel Umtiti has returned to action after a hamstring problem, Philippe Coutinho recovered from a thigh injury to make his debut against Espanyol and Andres Iniesta is also back after an injury lay-off. Paco Alcacer is also fit again and was an unused substitute on Thursday.

Alaves have several fitness concerns, with the Basque side still without the injured trio of Hector Hernandez, Carlos Vigaray and Burgui. Rodrigo Ely and Tomas Pina are both suspended, but Ruben Duarte could return at left-back after a ban.

               

Preview 

Barcelona will look to maintain their pace in La Liga against struggling Alaves, who head into the gameweek just three points off the bottom three. With the hosts 11 points clear at the top of the table and without a defeat in league action this season, they will be big favourites to pick up another victory.

Valverde could give new signing Coutinho his full debut. The Brazil international replaced Iniesta in the second half of their win over Espanyol and impressed, per Robbie Dunne at AS:

Coutinho's arrival allows Barcelona to protect the 33-year-old Iniesta, ensuring the influential midfielder is fresh for the club's biggest games towards the business end of the campaign.

Alaves will also need to watch out for Luis Suarez, who goes into the game in red-hot form. The striker has 11 goals in his past nine outings for Barcelona and looks to be back to his best.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 25:  Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey Quarter Final Second Leg match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou stadium at Camp Nou on January 25, 2018
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Stopping Barcelona from scoring at home is also a difficult feat; the last team to achieve it were Juventus back in April 2017, per Juan Jimenez at AS.

The visitors will also need to pick themselves up from the disappointment of their midweek cup exit, although they are on a decent run of form in La Liga. Alaves have won four of their past seven league games to move off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone.

Winning at Camp Nou will be a tall order for Alaves, but they head to Catalonia with little to lose. Valverde may opt to make changes to his team after a tough battle on Thursday, but the hosts should still have enough to secure victory on Sunday.

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