Many thanks to Urtzi for helping us out with the Alaves season preview
What are Alaves’ expectations this year?
After 10 years of playing in the lower leagues, Alaves have returned to the top flight. All of the fans and the entire city are very excited to see their team in La Liga again, but the goal is to remain in the top flight in order to build towards more competitive goals in the coming years.
What kind of tactics should we expect from Alaves?
The team has completely renewed their squad from last season. 14 players that played in the team that reached this point last season are gone. The directors also took the decision to fire the coach, Jose Bordalas. In this sense, it is difficult to know what the tactics will be. However, if we analyse the new coach, Mauricio Pellegrino’s, playing style, we will see a strong defensive unit, who like to play the ball out from the back, but we will have to wait and see.
Who are Alaves’ most influential players?
The most influential players, starting from the back are:
The goalkeeper, Fernando Pacheco. He was picked up from Real Madrid last year and he has been one of the main reasons for Alaves’ return to the Primera Division.
Raul Garcia. He was also an important piece of the puzzle during Alaves’ promotion. He plays on the left side of defense and it excellent in that position for us.
The midfielder Miguel Torres. One of the most expensive players in the history of Alaves. He costed €3.5 million and comes from Independiente de Medellin. He was able to make the jump to Europe thanks to some of his incredible performances in the Copa America with the Colombian national team.
The forward Ibai Gomez. He came from our neighbours Athletic Bilbao. He has been a very important player in this team. He was very important for his old club but Valverde did not need him and he will be important for us this season.
How have Alaves done during the transfer window?
Alaves have obtained the services of some very interesting players that make the fans believe a good season is achievable. Players with contrasting experience in La Liga have arrived, like Feddal, Camarasa, Alexis, Ibai Gomez, Deyverson, Edgar and Pantic. On another note, players like Torres or Santos demonstrated good skills in other leagues. The media seem impressed with how many good players the team have purchased and loaned so that is a good thing, I guess.
Make one bold prediction for Alaves this season
Analyzing the team Alaves has put together, they should have no problem obtaining the objective of staying in the league. However, it most likely won’t be easy. Most of the players have never played together before and some of them came in the summer, so they haven´t have time to adapt to the team and their teammates. Furthermore, some players like Deyverson and Feddal have had some disciplinary issues with their previous club, Levante, who were relegated last season. So the coach will have to work hard to ensure the group remains connected. But, if Pellegrino achieves this, Alaves can be the success story of next season.