Having made the perfect start to the season, Barcelona make their trip to Madrid to face Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Saturday

Barcelona come into the game as league leaders, already four points clear of rivals Real Madrid, and are on the back of four consecutive wins, including three in the La Liga and one in the Champions league. The Catalans look as formidable as ever and, Ernesto Valverde’s side will be looking to continue the winning streak.

The fixture list in the upcoming weeks looks very suitable and convenient for Lionel Messi and co. to extend their lead at the top of the table early on in the season, as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are finding it difficult to find their feet so far this season.

Barcelona’s latest opponents, also from Madrid – Getafe – registered their first win of the season against Leganes last weekend, but José Bordalás will know that his team will have to punch much above their weight to contain Barcelona.

Team News And Tactics

Barcelona

Rafinha is still sidelined with injury, while Arda Turan and Paco Alcacer expected to return to the squad after their recoveries from injury. Andres Iniesta might be given a rest, as the 33-year old has started five games in a span of fifteen days, and that could hand Paulinho his first start for Barcelona.

Apart from that, Barcelona are expected to field the same eleven that thumped Juventus 3-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi has already scored five goals in three games in the La Liga this season, and two in their Champions opener against Juventus.

The departure of Neymar might have been a blessing in disguise for the Argentine as he’s been deployed in the false nine position by Ernesto Valverde, with Luis Suarez and new recruit Ousmane Dembele on either side of him. Pep Guardiola had first put Messi in this position to outstanding effect, as it gives the 30-year old the freedom to stay central and dictate play.

Suarez and Dembele are yet to fully spring to life this season, although there have been flashes of the front three linking up to devastating effect.

Probable XI (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Mascherano, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho; Dembele, Messi, L. Suarez

Getafe

Getafe do not have many injury concerns apart from Dani Pacheco and Nico Gorosito, as the Madrid-based side have made a decent return to the La Liga after a year out in the Segunda Division.

They played out a goalless draw on the opening weekend against Bilbao, but suffered a defeat at the hands of Sevilla the following week. But having gained three points against Leganes in their last outing, José Bordalás is set to name an unchanged side.

Getafe will look to defend as narrow as possible, knowing that Barcelona can rip them open by threading the ball through the center. This will force Barcelona to play down the flanks and whip crosses into the box, but the one weakness in the Barcelona team is a lack of big, colossal figures in both 18-yard boxes, and Getafe will be looking to capitalize on that.

Probable Starting XI (4-4-2): Guiata; Suarez, Dakonam, Cala, Antunes; Bergara, Arambarri; Shibasaki, Fajr, Ndiaye; Molina.

Key Stats

  • Getafe have failed to beat Barcelona in seven years. Their last victory against the Catalans was a 1-0 home win back in the 2011-12 season.
  • The aggregate score between the two clubs in the previous seven games is 22-2 in Barcelona’s favor.
  • Barcelona have scored 12 goals and conceded none in their previous four games.
  • Getafe have failed to win at home in their nine previous games in all competitions.
  • Lionel Messi has scored in 10 of his last 13 games against Getafe.

Player to watch

Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)

Set to pack his bags? (Photo courtesy - Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

Dembele is yet to shine this season (Photo courtesy – Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

The young Frenchman, who became Barcelona’s most expensive player in history, arrived at the Camp Nou with a bag of huge expectation on his shoulders. The 20-year old has shown flashes of his speed so far, but is yet to fully ignite.

The former Dortmund man is expected to rise to his full potential at Barcelona, and keeping Barca’s recent record against Getafe in mind, it would be a good chance for him to mark his arrival.

Prediction

Getafe 1-4 Barcelona

Barcelona have looked virtually unplayable in all of their games this season, and one would imagine that the Catalans will continue their winning streak. Getafe will have to be extremely patient as they are expected to be deprived of the ball for most part of the game. However, Barcelona do give the opposition a chance to exploit them at times, and Getafe will have steal the chance when it comes.

But even so, this Barcelona side – with the form that they’re in at the moment – will be too much for Getafe to handle. We’re going for a 4-1 victory to Barcelona, with Messi registering back-to-back la liga hat-tricks.

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