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Spain: La Liga Week 23: 10-11. February

spkutano

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Alaves vs Levante Preview:

Possible starting lineups:

Alaves (4-4-2):
Pacheco, Navarro, Laguardia, Maripan, Duarte, Jony, Pina, Garcia, Inui, Calleri, Baston

Levante (3-4-1-2):
Fernandez, Pier, Cabaco, Vezo, Jason, Vukcevic, Bardhi, Coke, Morales, Mayoral, Marti

Deportivo Alaves are between the pleasant surprises this season. They sit just outside European spots, on the seventh place with 32 points. Most probably they will try to secure a Europe League ticket for the next season, but it will be very hard considering the opposition. What is worse, the actual form is bad. Alaves are in series of three defeats in La Liga. First they suffered a 4:0 defeat at Getafe, then were beaten 1:0 at home by Rayo Vallecano, while in the previous round lost 3:0 from Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu. As You could see, Alaves failed to score a single goal on the mentioned matches. The players confidence is low and that's a big problem for coach Abelardo. He must find a way to restore the confidence of his attackers. Baston and Calleri, the club leading scorers with four goals each, are ready and should start from the first minute. Diego Rolan, who came from Leganes, could get a chance to feature in attack. Coach Abelardo has three injury worries ahead of this match. Darko Brasanac and Martin Aguirregabiria are rated as doubtful, while this match is coming too soon for Rodrigo Ely who has recovered and returned to full training this week. On the positive note, Takashi Inui is available after returning from the Asian Cup of Nations.

Levante have 27 points and they are four away from the relegation zone. The actual form is mixed, one win, one draw and one defeat on the last three matches in La Liga. Levante managed to beat Valladolid with 2:0, heavily lost to Sevilla (5:0) and shared the points with Getafe. Levante were in the center of media interest this week, but for non-football reasons. Defender Tono was arrested in Teruel on suspicion of extortion and threats. The police operation caught the 29-year-old player on Friday afternoon as part of an investigation into many crimes. A total of 7 people were arrested as part of the operation for a number of crimes, which included extortion and threats. The judge decreed prison sentence for Tono as he believes there is sufficient indication of the player's possible involvement in several crimes. Interesting, just two days earlier Tono extended his contract at Levante until the end of the 2022/23 campaign. Considering he played 17 matches so far in La Liga, it is clear his absence is a handicap for coach Paco Lopez. In addition, midfielder Jose Campana is suspended, while Sergio Postigo and Ruben Rochina are out injured. Finally, Chema Rodriguez is rated as doubtful.

Alaves vs Levante Prediction:

Alaves failed to score a single goal on the last three matches and the players confidence is low. Levante, meanwhile, failed to score on the last two matches. Plus, the atmosphere in the squad is bad following the arrest of defender Tono who's charged for serious crimes. Considering these facts, I expect a low scoring match at Estadio de Mendizorroza.

Alaves vs Levante Pick: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.93 with Pinnacle
 
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