Philippe Coutinho expected to start Barcelona’s first game of the post-Ronald Koeman era

Barcelona begin the post-Ronald Koeman era this evening when they welcome Alaves to Camp Nou in another pivotal La Liga fixture, their first since the Dutchman lost his job on Thursday.

He was jettisoned after Barcelona’s 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas, with Barcelona B coach Sergi Barjuan taking control of the first team for an undefined period. He’ll be looking to get three points on the board in his first game.

Alaves are resurgent. They beat Elche 1-0 last time out and won 2-0 in Andalusia at Cadiz the fixture before that. They’ll be more confident than they usually would coming to Catalonia.

Barjuan is expected to set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen starting in goal behind a back four of Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia and Jordi Alba.

Sergio Busquets will most likely anchor the midfield, with Gavi and Philippe Coutinho either side. Sergio Aguero is expected to lead the line, flanked by Sergino Dest and Memphis Depay.

Barcelona are quite a few men down. Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembele, Ronald Araujo, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Martin Braithwaite are all on the treatment table, while Alaves’ only doubt is Fernando Pacheco.

Tags Alaves Barcelona La Liga