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Expect resolute Alaves to remain competitive.

FOOTBALL CELTA VIGO v ALAVES 8pm NEITHER Celta Vigo nor Alaves have lifted the Copa del Rey but one of them is assured of a place in May's final, writes Matthew Ireland.

Celta have been there three times before - most recently in 2001 - without winning but for Alaves getting to the showpiece would break new ground.

At 16-1 Alaves are the outsiders of the remaining quartet - Barcelona and Atletico Madrid head the market - but judged on their performances over the last couple of months, there seems little reason why they are more than twice the price of Celta.

Alaves' 1-0 league defeat at Celta is their only reverse in 14 outings, and while that run has gleaned only five victories, they are a solid outfit.

Celta, who knocked out Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, will certainly look to attack them.

Eduardo Berizzo's men have netted 33 times in La Liga but their attacking intent does leave them vulnerable on the counter which should give the visitors hope of taking a first-leg lead to the Mendizorrotza next week.

Many bookmakers go oddsagainst that resolute Alaves are at least level going into the second leg but that looks something that should be within their capabilities.

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Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 2, 2017
Words:203
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