After signing the best game of the Koeman era in Turin against Juventus in the Champions League (0-2), Barcelona returns to LaLiga Santander ready to permanently bury their version of Mr. Hyde to also become Doctor Jekyll in the domestic competition.
In Europe, the Catalans have two convincing victories in two games (the first was 5-1 against Ferenvaros), but in LaLiga they have only added one point from the last nine, after the draw against Sevilla (1-1) and the defeats against Getafe (1-0) and Real Madrid (1-3).
Now, he needs to beat Alavés in Vitoria to climb positions in a table where he currently occupies twelfth place with seven points, the same as his next rival but with two games less.
A growing team awaits him and eager to win against the Catalans in Mendizorroza 19 years later.
The physical condition of some of Pablo Machín’s men can alter an alignment that pretends to be similar to that of the last day, as long as the players who have had discomfort this week recover.
The only safe loss will be that of Pere Pons, while the Italian-Brazilian Rodrigo Ely will be in doubt until the last minute, with discomfort in the adductor; Édgar Méndez, with calf problems, and Lucas Pérez, with a slight ankle sprain.
In spite of everything, the coach from Soria will maintain his drawing that lately he is betting on defending with a four-man line and attacking with three and two long lanes.
As for Barça, they will try with only two centrals in the call, as Ronald Araujo was injured in Turin and Samuel Umtiti, who has already begun to do part of the training with the group, still does not have a medical discharge.
Goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and midfielder Philippe Coutinho also remain out due to injury.
With Piqué and Lenglet as the only effective to occupy the axis of the rear, Koeman could enter Sergiño Dest to the detriment of Sergi Roberto, on the right side and return Sergio Busquets to the title in the double pivot, so Miralem Pjanic would return to the bench.
The rest of the team could be the same one that clearly outplayed Juve, with Ousmane Dembélé on the right wing, Pedri on the left and Griezmann behind Messi, who would once again act as a false ‘9’.
Deportivo Alavés: Pacheco; Ximo, Lejeune, Laguardia; Tavares, Battaglia, Pina, Peleteiro, Duarte; Joselu and Lucas Pérez or Deyverson.
Barcelona: Net; Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, De Jong; Dembélé, Griezmann, Pedri and Messi.
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (Committee of Las Palmas).
Time: 2:00 PM EFE (HN).