Barcelona v Alavés Betting Tips: Catalan side to come alive after the break
Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs takes a look at Saturday’s Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Alavés at Vicente Calderón Stadium.
On Saturday night, Barcelona have the chance to ensure that they don’t walk away from the 16/17 campaign empty handed as they face an Alavés side who’re looking to pick up their first major trophy in the Copa del Rey final.
Having lost their La Liga title to bitter rivals Real Madrid last weekend, as well as failing to make even the last four in the Champions League, it’s been a fruitless season for Barcelona up until this point, but if they’re capable of picking up the Copa del Rey here, then Luis Enrique’s final season in charge will probably be remembered as at least a half successful one. In contrast, if Alavés were to lift the iconic Spanish trophy, then this season will more than likely be classed as their best ever campaign.
From a betting point of view, as impressive as Alavés have been in their first season back in Spain’s top flight, and they’ve certainly impressed in finishing 9th, it’s hard to see Barcelona faltering here, even though they’ve often been below par at times during this campaign. Having said that, at 1/7 in the betting, they hardly make any appeal for simple win purposes. Instead, goals are the way to go here with ‘Barcelona to Score Over 1.5 Second-Half Goals’ and ‘Over 2.5 Second-Half Goals’ being the two angles of attack.
As is always the case in La Liga, Barcelona have scored an incredible amount of goals this season, but, more specifically, they’ve scored an awful lot of goals after half-time. Of their 116 goals in the Primera División, 72 (62%) were scored in during the second 45 minutes. What’s more, Enrique’s men come into this fixture having favoured goals after the break in recent matches too. In their last five matches, Barcelona have scored an impressive 22 goals, 16 of which came after the break. Additionally, the Catalan side managed to score at least twice after half-time in all five of those encounters. Against an Alavés side who’re extremely disciplined and will certainly look to defend above all else during the early stages of this encounter, it would be no surprise at all if Barca were made to wait before really hitting their stride. After all, this has certainly been the case of late, as well as when these two last met.
Alavés are a side whose relative success this season has been very much built on defensive solidity, particularly early on in games. The Basque side scored just 12 goals before the break in 38 La Liga matches, while they conceded just 16. However, in the second period of matches, Mauricio Pellegrino’s men scored a total of 25 and conceded 31 – more than double their first-half tally. Such stats suggest that, although Alavés are a strong unit, they tend open up more after the break. Such a statement definitely proved to be true when this pair last met. For the first 30 minutes or so, Pellegrino’s men held their own and stayed in the game; however, they were 2-0 down at half-time and 6-0 down upon hearing the final whistle.
With this pair sharing a liking for second-half goals, both for and against, and with the added pressure of a final, if the goals are to come in this fixture, they’re likely to emerge later rather than sooner. With at least three goals being scored in the second-half of five of the last six Barcelona matches, as well as when these two last met, much of the same is fancied, especially at the 2/1 quoted.
Tips for Saturday’s Coupe de France final can be found here.
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