MX23RW : Tuesday, May 11 17:49:05| >> :600:106582:106582:
Apr 18, 2021 at 3.15pm UK at Mendizorroza, Vitoria, Basque Country
Battaglia (85')
Battaglia (60')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Vavro (30'), Escriche (84')

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

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

Alaves welcome Huesca to the Mendizorrotza Stadium on Sunday, in a crucial game at the bottom of the La Liga table.

A run of two consecutive victories has seen Huesca move out of the drop zone, while the hosts now sit in 19th spot, three points adrift of safety.

Match preview

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

Alaves will be looking to break an eight-game winless run on Sunday, having picked up just two points from those eight matches.

In that time, they have conceded 18 goals, while scoring just five at the other end of the pitch.

As a result of their poor run, Abelardo Fernandez departed the club in early April, having won just one of his 12 games in the hot seat, with the board opting to bring Javier Calleja into the club with the task of saving them from the drop.

He kicked his spell as manager off with a commendable point last time out, as they held Athletic Bilbao to a goalless draw away from home.

While that result will give encouragement to El Glorioso, they will know that they need to end their winless run if they are to break out of the bottom three and avoid the drop.

A change of fortunes could quickly see Alaves' situation change, as they currently sit just three points adrift of safety, but Calleja will know that the upturn in form will need to happen sooner rather than later, potentially starting with what would be a crucial victory on Sunday.

That will be no easy task for El Glorioso though, as they welcome a Huesca side who have lifted themselves out of the bottom three thanks to two consecutive victories in the top flight.

Huesca's Javi Galan celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates in February 2021© Reuters

The Huesca hierarchy opted to make a managerial change in January, bringing Pacheta into the club with the side threatened by relegation.

He has had a positive impact since his arrival, having picked up 17 points from 12 games, seven more than they managed in the 18 league games before his arrival this season.

They have recently boosted their chances of survival with back-to-back wins in the top flight, most recently defeating fellow strugglers Elche 3-1 at home.

Huesca made the perfect start to the game as Rafa Mir put them ahead in the first five minutes, but a Denis Vavro goal would immediately level the scoring before a Sandro Ramirez strike and a second Mir goal sealed a crucial win for Pacheta's men.

That followed a 2-0 win away at Levante for the Estadio El Alcoraz outfit, as another Mir brace sealed a victory to lift them out of the bottom three.

As a result of their upturn in form, Pacheta's side now sit in 16th spot, although they remain just one point above 18th-placed Elche, while they come into this game three points ahead of Alaves.

That means that their work is far from done, and a defeat on Saturday would erase all of Huesca's good work, potentially dragging them back into the bottom three.

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

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

Team News

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

Alaves will be without centre-back Florian Lejeune for this game, as he will serve a suspension following his 10th yellow card of the season last time out.

He is joined on the sidelines by fellow centre-back Rodrigo Ely, who has been absent since December with a ligament rupture.

The line will be led by Joselu, who has netted seven La Liga goals so far this campaign.

Huesca are expected to remain without Pablo Maffeo on the right-hand side, after he was absent from the squad for the game against Elche.

He will be joined on the sidelines by attacker Javier Ontiveros, who has missed the last two matches through injuries.

Rafa Mir will lead the Huesca attack, having netted braces in his last two matches.

Denis Vavro's place in the back three could be under threat, after he was brought off last time out having scored an own goal early in the game.

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Aguirregabiria, Rodriguez, Laguardia, Navarro; Jota, Pina, Battaglia, Rioja; Joselu, Perez

Huesca possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Insua, Pulido, Siovas; Lopez, Ferreiro, Mosquera, Seoane, Galan; Mir, Sandro

SM words green background

We say: Alaves 0-2 Huesca

The two sides come into this game in opposite runs of form, and we see Huesca extending their winning run with a victory over a struggling Alaves side on Sunday.

The visitors have managed to build momentum and break out of the relegation zone, and we expect them to continue that rise at the Mendizorrotza Stadium as they look to avoid dropping back down towards the bottom three.

Top tip

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