Alaves v Barcelona preview: Luis Suarez misses out with knee injury
Last Updated: 26/08/17 4:29pm
Barcelona face a tricky test away to Alaves in La Liga on Saturday in what is a repeat of the Copa del Rey final in May.
Barca triumphed 3-1 in the showpiece, but did suffer a 2-1 home defeat against the Basque side last September.
This will be the first Barcelona La Liga away game overseen coach Ernesto Valverde, who did actually start his playing career at Alaves.
He won't have new signing Ousmane Dembele to call on though. The 20-year-old France international forward is set undergo a medical on Monday and sign a five-year contract.
"It is impressive, Dembele was barely known a few years ago but he is a quality player and Barcelona was after him more than any other team," Valverde said.
"He [Dembele] is a player who guarantees us depth, something we have lost and need," Valverde confirmed in his pre-match press conference. "He can play on both sides, in the middle or deep, he is very technical."
Luis Suarez will also miss the clash as he is out for up to four weeks after suffering a knee injury in the second leg of the Super Cup against Real Madrid last week.
Andres Iniesta does return - as will defender Gerard Pique, who was only fit enough for the bench in their opening 2-0 win over Real Betis.
Alaves' new coach Luis Zubeldia, who took the reins from Mauricio Pellegrino after he left for Southampton, kicked off his reign with a 1-0 defeat by Leganes last weekend.
"For me to play in Mendizorrotza has a special flavour and more so against FC Barcelona," he said.
"We have to be efficient with and without the ball because I can't imagine having a lot of chances.
"For us, it's a game that has a special flavour."
Alaves defender Hector Hernandez is the club's only injury doubt.