Barcelona v Alaves – Saturday 19:30, Sky Sports 2
There is very much a David vs. Goliath feel to this La Liga encounter as promoted Alaves visit the Nou Camp. Barcelona unsurprisingly had comfortably wins in their opening two matches against Real Betis and Bilbao while Alaves have impressed many with their never say die attitude during their excellent draws against Atletico Madrid and Sporting Gijon.
Barca’s 6-2 spanking of Betis means that their last four wins have all been by more than three goals as they’ve netted a remarkable 23 goals in these games. As a result, we’re backing them -3 on the handicap here.
There is a slightly more youthful look to the Barca side this season with Umtiti and Roberto in defence and Denis Suarez in midfield. For many these are welcome changes, as if there was a slight criticism of Barca it was that the side could possibly do with was a bit of young blood, with Neymar the only regular in the side last term under 25.
If there was one thing that definitely doesn’t need changing its their superstar front three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. They are still waiting for the magical Brazilian to come back from his Olympic excursions and it appears that he is very much up to speed after netting in a World Cup Qualifier against Ecuador. The Brazilian is expected to come back into the starting line-up for this one, but it is strike partner Suarez who we are backing to be the first goalscorer. The Uruguayan has scored an impressive 14 goals in the last seven matches he’s started against promoted sides in La Liga.