Barcelona look to tighten their grip on the Laliga title when they take on Alaves at the Mendizorrotza stadium. Alaves on the other hand hosts the league leaders with the desire to end a five match winless run.
Alaves saw themselves compete for an European spot before the International break but they have now dropped to eight position on the log, no thanks to a run of 12 points from six matches followed a five match winless run.
That said, the club will be delighted to build on their 14th position log finish from last season.
Alaves might be great underdogs to get anything away from Barcelona who are vying for a treble finish but it will at least be demanded from them that they give the Blaugranas a tough time at the back.
Recent form: W L L D L D
The Blaugranas have the intention and desire to finish the campaign with a treble and this might force Ernesto Valverde to tinker his starting line-up a little bit ahead of the tight schedules ahead.
Barcelona have extended their unbeaten record in the Liga to 21 matches and they show no signs of slowing down.
Lionel Messi has spearheaded the attack this term, scoring a record 43 goals in all competitions and making a gargantuan number of assists also. Notwithstanding, Barcelona would have to reduce their over reliance on the Argentine talisman if they are to record any real success on European front this season.
Indeed, Luis Suarez has failed to find the net or provide an assist in his last three outings and this match-up provides an opportunity for the league leaders to try spring up something without Messi.
Eitherways, a win is a must for Barcelona.
Recent form: W W D W D W
Rafinha (knee) and Vermalaen (thigh) would be unavailable for selection by Ernesto Valverde while Alaves have no fresh injury worries.
Possible Starting Line-Up
Pacheco; Marin, Maripan, Ely, Aguirregabiria; Jony, Pina, Garcia, Inui; Calleri, Guidetti
Ter Stegen; Alba, Umtiti, Lenglet, Roberto; Arthur, Busquets, Vidal; Malcom, Suarez, Coutinho