Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe, Madrid
November 7th, 2010, 11:30 PM IST
After a week of mixed results, the Spanish Champions travel again to the centre of Spain. Getafe will be too fretful as they welcome Barcelona in this 10th round game. The home side’s recent defeats against VFB Stuttgart in the Europa League and Athletic Bilbao in the La Liga, aren’t exactly results that managers would like to endorse. Nonetheless, matches against Barcelona and Real Madrid have always managed to goad the Azulones. Barcelona too had an average outing away at Copenhagen. Although the Catalans dominated the game, they couldn’t get enough goals to seal the match.
David Villa was back to his known form last weekend against Copa del Rey champions Sevilla. Finally the Spanish superstar ended his goal drought with a brace. Messi too was on target and grabbed a couple. Dani Alves scored a fabulous goal against his former club, taking advantage of the inexperienced stand-in keeper Javi Varas. Despite a fabulous 5 star win in the domestic arena, the stalemate in Copenhagen somehow dampened the Catalan spirit.
Getafe was swept aside by Athletic Bilbao, last weekend. Defenders Andoni Iraola and Mikel San Jose had the hosts 2-0 up inside 12 minutes and substitute Igor Gabilondo rounded off the win seven minutes from time. After a humiliating loss at San Mames, the Azulones faced German outfit VfB Stuttgart at home. The opposition changed but the result didn’t. Ciprian Marica, Timo Gebhart and Martin Harnik were on target against Getafe CF as VfB Stuttgart eased into the UEFA Europa League knockout stage.
Team News and Tactical Brief
FC Barcelona: The Catalan side has been fabulous away from home. The defending champions are yet to drop a point and they would love to add to their kitty, especially against a team which has proved to be quite a thorn in their flesh in the past. Pep Guardiola has all the armaments necessary.
Winger Jeffren, who succumbed to a shoulder injury against Ceuta, has trained, but isn’t making the trip to Madrid. Nineteen players have been shortlisted. Thiago Alcantara has been included along with the usual first eighteen players. The only change with respect to the game with Copenhagen is the return of goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto, who was suspended for that one, meaning Rubén Miño is left out.
Pep Guardiola would like to hit the nail on the head. Despite the fact that Getafe usually proves to be a stiff opposition at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, their recent lack of form might just cost them dearly. To make things worse for the El Geta, David Villa too returned to form against Sevilla.
Probable Starting Line-up: Valdes (GK), Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro, Villa.
Getafe: Former Real Madrid star Michel’s men have all the reasons to be worried. Not only do they welcome one of the most ruthless teams in Europe, but also their recent form hasn’t been good enough. Midfielder Victor Sanchez, who is on loan from Barcelona, says the players are down following their European disappointment. “The dressing room is hurt and sad,” he said. Mario Alvarez is around five months away from recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon. To make things worse, Miguel Torres and Jaime Gavilan will miss out too.
Daniel Parejo looks set to shake off his injury woes in time for the match. The Azulones will definitely not give the Spanish Champions as much space as they were offered by Sevilla. Playing with three strikers, the home side would intend to catch the Barca defense off-guard. Counter attacking football can be expected from Michel’s men. Despite the home team’s perceptible problems, Josep Guardiola is as wary as ever. “Michel is a big name in Spanish football and his teams always play well, because they reflect his philosophy, which we know form his time as a footballer and commentator,” said the Catalan manager.
Probable Starting Line-up: Codina (GK), Pintos, Cata Díaz, Rafa, Marcano, Derek Boateng, Victor Sanchez, Dani Parejo, Pedro Rios, Moral, Adrian Colunga.
1. Barcelona has scored 6 goals in their last two matches whereas Getafe has conceded 6 in the same number of matches.
2. Barcelona now has 19 league goals in 9 matches at an average of 2.11. This is way below their average in 2008-09 season (2.76 goals per match) and 2009-10 season (2.58 goals per match).
3. Getafe reached the finals of the Copa del Rey only twice in their history in 2007 and 2008 and lost to Sevilla and Valencia respectively.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
David Villa (FC Barcelona)
The Spanish superstar has been under a lot of criticism because of his lacklustre form for the Spanish Champions. With a fine brace against Sevilla, he announced his arrival. Villa has played 13 matches for Barcelona this season and scored 7 goals. He has 2 assists to his name as well and given the price tag he carries, he’s definitely like to add a few more to his name. “Barca didn’t sign me to be the top goal scorer, but to help the team win. If I don’t score them, someone else will,” said the Catalan number 7.
Getafe 1-3 FC Barcelona
Given the kind of imperious form that Pep Guardiola’s side is in, a demoralized Getafe side will find it difficult to stop the Catalan giants. Although the home side has won 3 out of their 4 home games, they are yet to be tested by an attack as incisive as Barcelona’s.
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST