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Segunda Division | 1st Leg
Jun 3, 2023 at 5.30pm UK
Estadio Municipal de IpurĂșa
AL
Eibar
1 - 1
Alaves
Stoichkov (45+1')
Berrocal (30'), Blanco (40'), Munoz (48'), Arbilla (60')
Arbilla (73')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Sylla (9')

Preview: Eibar vs. Alaves - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Eibar vs. Alaves - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Segunda Division clash between Eibar and Alaves, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Eibar will be looking to use home advantage to claim a positive result in the first leg of their Segunda Division playoff semi-final against Basque rivals Alaves on Saturday evening.

The hosts finished fifth in the Segunda Division table, level on points (71) with fourth-placed Alaves, and the two teams are now battling for a spot in the final against either Levante or Albacete.


Match preview

Eibar spent seven straight seasons in La Liga between 2014 and 2021, but they were relegated in 20th position in 2020-21 and have now been in the second tier of Spanish football for the last two campaigns.

Los Armeros finished third in last season's Segunda Division to also make the playoffs, but they were beaten by Girona in the semi-finals and will therefore be desperate to avoid that disappointment again.

Gaizka Garitano's side picked up 71 points from their 42 matches during the regular season courtesy of a record of 19 wins, 14 draws and nine defeats, but they finished below Alaves on the head-to-head record, with the Blue and Whites picking up four points from their two fixtures during the season.

Eibar actually only scored 45 league goals in 2022-23 - the lowest in the top seven, with Stoichkov the only player to register double figures, finding the back of the net on 12 occasions.

Garitano's team only lost twice at home in the league during the regular season, which should mean that confidence is high entering this match, especially as Alaves were inconsistent on their travels.

Indeed, Alaves had the second-best home record in the Segunda Division in 2022-23, but they dropped points in 15 of their 21 matches on their travels, only managing six wins.

The visitors saw a six-year stay in La Liga end last season when they were relegated in 20th position, so the club are looking to bounce back to the top level at the first time of asking.

Alaves, as mentioned, finished level on points with fifth-place Eibar, but they claimed fourth due to their superior head-to-head record, and both sides were only one point off automatic qualification.

It seems incredible to think that Granada lost 11 times in the league but still managed to top the division, but Luis Garcia's side must ensure that their full focus is on the upcoming two-legged semi-final.

El Glorioso actually ended their 2022-23 campaign with just one win from their last four matches, but Eibar only won once in their final 10 games of the season, which cost them the chance to go up automatically.

Eibar Segunda Division form:

Alaves Segunda Division form:


Team News

Eibar will be without the services of key central defender Frederico Venancio due to the red card that he picked up in the final stages of the 1-0 victory over Huesca on the final matchday of the season.

Daniel Lasure and Imanol Garcia are also out through injury, so head coach Garitano has problems defensively heading into the first leg of the playoff semi-final.

Anaitz Arbilla is likely to come in for a start at the back, but it could otherwise be the same XI that took to the field for the first whistle against Huesca last time out.

Alaves, meanwhile, will again be without the services of Nikola Maras due to a knee injury.

Antonio Blanco is also suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up in the goalless draw with Las Palmas last time out, so Toni Moya could come in for a start on Saturday.

Luis Rioja has been the team's main source of goals this season, finding the back of the net on 10 occasions, and the 29-year-old will again feature in an advanced area for the visitors.


Eibar possible starting lineup:
Zidane; Tejero, Arbilla, Berrocal, Rodriguez; Alvarez, Pereira; Aketxe, Munoz, Stoichkov; Bautista

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Sivera; Tenaglia, Abqar, Sedlar, Duarte; Moya, Benavidez; Rioja, Guridi, Rebbach; Villalibre


We say: Eibar 1-1 Alaves

There is not much to choose between these two teams in terms of quality, and we are expecting both legs to be incredibly tight, with penalties potentially ultimately being needed to separate them. Eibar will be hoping to secure a first-leg advantage, but we believe that Alaves will be able to secure a share of the spoils.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Read more about Gaizka Garitano Stoichkov Luis Garcia Anaitz Arbilla Frederico Venancio Daniel Lasure Imanol Garcia Nikola Maras Antonio Blanco Toni Moya Luis Rioja Football
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