Preview: Las Palmas-Alaves

A top-10 finish will surely be on the minds of Alaves and Las Palmas when they face off at Gran Canaria on Sunday.

Just five wins out of a possible 19 since the start of December have seen Las Palmas slide out of European contention, and their cause in the Basque Country has been made more difficult by an injury to playmaker Jonathan Viera.

“I’m not disappointed to have taken the step of joining the team of my birthplace,” affirmed former Real Madrid loanee Jese Rodriguez.

“There are games still to play and the season isn’t over. We want to finish it with good feelings, we have the squad to be in Europe, even for next season, but we have dropped a lot of points.

“Not scoring in my first few games affected my confidence, but I don’t think I’m playing badly.

“We play with a lot of touches and should do so with more pace.”

Fears of a midseason collapse after their 6-0 thrashing by Barcelona seem a distant memory thanks to a run of five wins in the 10 games that have passed.

However, Coach Mauricio Pellegrino believes his side have room for improvement going forward, given they have scored the third-least number of goals in La Liga this season.

“We have to be very intense when applying pressure on Las Palmas,” he said at a Press conference.

“We must close the spaces where Las Palmas move well and get the ball to our attackers, so they can have the ball, reach the opponents’ box and be able to finish. Our decision-making has to improve.

“Las Palmas have built their campaign on the strength they have at home. They’re a team that play very well, with players that are very precise in their ability to press you.

“It’s a good match for us to keep up our good sensations.”

Las Palmas (probable): Lizoain; Michel, Bigas, Lemos, Dani Castellano; Mesa; Tana, Montoro, Viera, Jese; Boateng

Injuries/suspensions: Javi Castellano, Vicente, Viera (all injured)

Alaves (confirmed): Pacheco; Femenia, Laguardia, Feddal, Theo; Marcos Llorente, Manu; Toquero, Camarasa, Ibai; Deyverson

Injuries/suspensions: Alexis (I) Galilea (I)

Referee: Munuera Montero

Form guide: Las Palmas (L W L L W) Alaves (W L L L W)

Previous meeting: Alaves 1-1 Las Palmas

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