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Alaves should be wary as Barca expected to vent ire on them in Copa del Rey final


Barcelona should still be bitter by now that the La Liga crown slipped away from their grasp.

Culprits are their arch rivals – Real Madrid.

To erase the stigma of that frustration, Barca now set their sights on winning the Copa del Rey title.

And if they are in their meanest mood, expect them to vent their ire on Deportivo Alaves.

The Catalans and the side from Basque Country clash on May 28 at Estadio de Calderon in Madrid, with the former the heavy favourites to clinch the crown.

There is a wide disparity in terms of bench, form or perhaps everything in between the combatants.

Barca are gunning for a record 29th title in the tournament. Alaves, on the other hand, have yet to win one. Their only winner’s trophy was won in Spain’s second division.

In their last five-head-to-head meetings, Barca won four, whilst Alaves had one, a shock 2-1 win at Camp Nou in the La Liga last September.

Before the league defeat, Barcelona had won five successive matches between the two sides, including four in the Copa del Rey. Barca won both games in the last 16 in 2007, and breezed to a 6-1 aggregate win in the early rounds in 2012.

In the La Liga that just concluded, Barca ended up second, and Alaves placed ninth.

Alaves, founded in 1921, were promoted to the La Liga this term after 10 years competing in the lower divisions, among them four in the third tier.

When Lionel Messi and Co. square off with Alaves, they will be a side on a mission.

Messi will lead the Catalans along with Neymar and Andres Iniesta, but will be without suspended striker Luis Suarez and defender Sergi Roberto.

Alaves’ main man is Deyverson, a Brazilian barely known even back in the land of the samba.

The Copa del Rey final is now Barca’s only chance of gaining glory in Luis Enrique’s final season in charge as manager.

Before seeing their championship bid disintegrate into thin air in the Spanish top-tier, Barca were also booted out from the Champions League quarterfinals, losing 3-0 on aggregate to Juventus, who are eventually facing Real Madrid for the crown.

If Barca win their 29th trophy, that would be a fitting farewell gift to Enrique for all what he has done to the club.

But the squad from Vitoria-Gasteiz, Alava also want to capture the coveted silverware and getting it done at Barca’s expense will be the sweetest victory in their history.

Can Barca dismantle the underdogs or will the latter bare their fangs and pile another woe on the Catalans?