Camp Nou, Spain
3rd May, 2014; 14:00 GMT
Barcelona prepare for their 36th league game this week as they host Getafe on Saturday. Planning to offer Tito Vilanova a tribute, the Catalans will be looking to end their campaign on a high and win the rest of the 3 games. On the brink of finishing this season without any silverware, Barcelona have an outside chance of winning the league if the teams from Madrid drop points following their exhausting Champions League encounters. Sitting 4 points behind Atletico Madrid and two points above Real Madrid, who have a game in hand, Barcelona will be back in contention for the title if either of the teams drop any points this week.
Planning a special tribute for Tito Vilanova, under whose leadership Barcelona won their last league title, the Catalans will be looking to put forward a fine display against 17th placed Getafe who are standing on the brink of relegation. Barcelona will be suffering from a string of key injuries which will leave their defence punctured. Serious injuries to Carlos Puyol, Pique and Jordi Alba means that Barcelona will once again be lacking any stability in the back four. Victor Valdes’ injury firther hangs a shadow over their defence which has shown itself to be extremely shaky in moments of pressure. With Neymar injured, it will be Xavi, Iniesta and Messi who will be shouldering the Catalan hope on Saturday. Though Messi has not been at his best this season, it was him who rescued Barcelona in their last game and the team will be hoping to put forward a more convincing performance against a Getafe side that is fighting for relegation. Pedro is most likely to get a first-team call up on Saturday and will be expected to run at Getafe’s defence. Barcelona is most likely to come up against an opposition that will sit back and absorb pressure and hence it will be upto Xavi and Iniesta to unlock their defence with penetrating passes. With Sanchez and Tello waiting on the sidelines, Barcelona have enough firepower in their team to earn three comfortable points.
Expected Line-Up: Pinto; Dani Alves, Bartra, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Fabregas, Messi, Pedro
Getafe are fighting their own battles as they look to avoid the relgation battle. Sitting in 17th position, the club will have to play at least for a draw if they are avoid being in the thick of the relegation battle. They have won only one out of their last 4 league outings and hence facing Barcelona at Camp Nou could prove to be a very tough experience for the club. It will be interesting to see how they plan of keeping a Barcelona side at bay. Their best chance will be to sit back and defence and look to expose the Catalans on the counter-attack. Barcelona have shown themselves to be defensively weak and could be opened up using pace and speed.
Expected Line-Up: Julio Cesar; Lopez, Rafa, Valera, Escudero; Lacen, Rodriguez, Sarabia, Pedro Leon; Colunga, Marica
Player(s) To Watch Out For
Lionel Messi is definitely the player to watch out for. Having organised Barcelona’s dramatic come-back in their last league outing, Barcelona will be looking towards Messi to win them three crucial points. Pedro Leon is the player to watch out for, from Getafe. His ability to break free on the right wing could expose Adriano and might be Getafe’s best chance of scoring a goal.
Barcelona 3-1 Getafe
Though Barcelona are suffering from key injuries, they should easily earn three points from Getafe but are likely to concede a goal in the process.