Preview: Alaves-Real

Another Basque derby sees Alaves welcome Real Sociedad to Mendizorroza on Saturday, with both sides missing key personnel.

Alaves must make do without first-choice centre-backs Zouhair Feddal and Alexis Ruano aganst La Real, although Coach Mauricio Pellegrino preferred to focus on his side’s prospects for the rest of the season at his pre-match Press conference.

“Our objective is to reach 48 points and finish between the 10th and 12th,” he said.

“La Real? They’re one of the surprise packages of the season and we’re going to pit ourselves against a team that are one of the highest in the table.”

The visitors, on the other hand, cannot call upon defensive giant Inigo Martinez and their midfield general, Spain new boy Asier Illarramendi, while top goalscorer Willian Jose remains sidelined.

“Three points here are important because we’re going to have two weeks off, in which our morale will be influenced by our last result, so we’ll try to achieve a victory, which will let us have two weeks of happiness,” explained boss Eusebio Sacristan.

“When you have absences, like we do in this game, it's a pity because you want to have everyone available, but those absences give the others a chance.

“We have a vast and compensated squad, which allows us to maintain a good level of performance.”

Los Txuriurdin possess the best away record outside the top four in La Liga, whereas Alaves are statistically the fourth-worst team at home.

Alaves (probable): Pacheco; Femenia, Laguardia, Ely, Theo; Marcos, Manu; Toquero, Camarasa, Ibai; Deyverson

Injuries/suspensions: Feddal (S), Alexis (S), Galilea (I), Raul Garcia (I), Sobrino (I)

Real Sociedad (probable): Rulli; Odriozola, Raul Navas, Mikel, Yuri; Prieto, Granero, Bergara; Vela, Juanmi, Oyarzabal

Injuries/suspensions: Illarra (S), Carlos (I), Inigo (I), Zurutuza (I), Agirretxe (I), Willian Jose (I)

Referee: Del Cerro Grande

Form guide: Alaves (W D L W W) Real (L W D W L)

Previous meeting: Real 3-0 Alaves

Kick-off time: 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET