MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 17:04:27| >> :600:1151672:1151672:
May 16, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Mendizorroza, Vitoria, Basque Country
Pons (8'), Duarte (21'), Joselu (66'), Rioja (72')
Guidetti (90+3'), Garcia (90+3')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Molina (31'), Puertas (63')
Perez (20'), Brice Eteki (30'), Duarte (45'), Quini (47')

Preview: Alaves vs. Granada - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Alaves and Granada, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Alaves host Granada this weekend at the Mendizorrotza knowing that three points would guarantee them La Liga survival, something that looked far from likely before Javier Calleja took the reins in early April.

A win for Granada could see the Andalusian outfit leapfrog Athletic Club into ninth place, a tidy finish for a side that has blown hot and cold this season.

Match preview

Alaves' Luis Rioja celebrates scoring their first goal on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Currently 15th in the standings, four points above the relegation zone, Alaves have a unique opportunity to secure their top-flight credentials this weekend, before the inevitable five-horse race in the final week of the campaign.

With three wins and two draws from their last six league outings, Alaves have done more than enough in recent weeks to stake their claim as best of the rest.

In fact, in their last six games, Alaves (11) have almost collected as many points as Real Valladolid, Getafe and Elche combined (12) - a glittering example of just how much El Glorioso have improved under Calleja.

Against relegation rivals Elche last time out, Calleja's men put them to the sword, with Joselu and Luis Rioja both finding the back of the net for El Glorioso.

With Joselu's finish in that tie being the striker's third in the team's last six outings, there is no doubt that the Stuttgart-born marksman could have a pivotal role to play on Sunday.

Granada's Darwin Machis celebrates scoring against Barcelona in La Liga on April 29, 2021© Reuters

After besting some of La Liga's heavyweight sides and reaching the latter stages of the Europa League this season, Granada's campaign looks set to come to a lacklustre conclusion.

Currently 10th in the table, Granada find themselves in the worst position they have been in all season - a far cry from the heady heights they have become accustomed to.

Part of the reason why Granada's season has somewhat imploded in recent weeks is the ineptitude of the team's defence.

Granada have conceded the most goals in La Liga this season (61), seven more than Elche and Alaves (54) and 19 more than Getafe (42), who have been in a relegation scrap for much of the season.

While manager Diego Martinez deserves plaudits for his achievements this season, an inquest will likely be held over the summer to determine how the side can improve their backline.

Still, it is not all doom and gloom for Martinez's men. Three points this weekend could see Granada head into ninth place, just two points behind Villarreal.

Alaves La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Granada La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Joselu celebrates scoring for Deportivo Alaves against Real Madrid in La Liga on November 28, 2020© Reuters

The good news for Calleja is that midfield maestro Rodrigo Battaglia will be available for selection again after serving his suspension.

Lopez Carballo and Rodrigo Ely are both unavailable for this tie due to injury.

Granada, who have weathered one of the worst injury crises in the division, will still be without Victor Diaz, Jesus Vallejo, Carlos Neva and Luis Milla.

Veteran marksman Roberto Soldado will also be unavailable for this tie, with the 35-year-old Valencian currently suspended.

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Aguirregabiria, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Pina, Battaglia, Pere Pons, Jota, Rioja; Joselu

Granada possible starting lineup:
Silva; Foulquier, Duarte, Sanchez, Quini; Eteki, Gonalons; Puertas, Vico, Machis; Molina

SM words green background

We say: Alaves 2-0 Granada

With Granada's injury crisis in mind, we think Alaves will be able to muster enough desperation and guile to best the visiting Andalusians. We are going for a 2-0 win for the hosts.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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