Barcelona will be aiming to close the gap to league leaders Real Madrid when they take on Getafe this weekend at Camp Nou.

Barcelona will be looking to pick up all three points when they host Getafe at Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon, hoping to pile the pressure on current La Liga leaders and arch-rivals Real Madrid.

The reigning La Liga champions are three points off of their bitter rivals and with Real Madrid scheduled to play on Sunday night, Quique Setien & co. will want to level up on points by grabbing a victory. Barcelona come into the game on the back of a 3-2 victory over Real Betis and will be hoping to carry that momentum forward this weekend.

Getafe are in fine form heading into the clash, having won four matches in a row. Their 3-0 win against Valencia last time out pushed them to the third place in the table, three points above Atletico Madrid in fourth. And manager Jose Bordalas will be aiming to get at least a point from his side’s visit to Camp Nou, to consolidate their position in the top four.

The reverse fixture played in September last year saw Barcelona triumph 2-0 with goals coming from Luis Suarez and Junior Firpo. And ahead of the latest encounter between the two teams, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at the encounter.

Team News & Tactics

Barcelona

Barcelona continue to be without the services of injured attacking duo Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele while defensive mainstay Clement Lenglet will miss the contest due to suspension. There is some positive news though, with Gerard Pique returning from suspension and backup goalkeeper Neto rejoining the squad having recovered from his ankle injury.

Setien has tinkered with formations in his early days with Barcelona, but is likely to stick with the diamond midfield setup he used in the win against his former club Real Betis last weekend.

There will be minimal changes in defence with Pique returning in place of Lenglet and Jordi Alba reclaiming the left-back slot. Nelson Semedo and Samuel Umtiti will complete the backline protecting Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal. Given the narrow nature of Barcelona’s setup, the onus will be on the full-backs to provide the width going forward.

Sergio Busquets will anchor the midfield for the hosts and look to start attacks from the base of the diamond formation in the middle. Frenkie de Jong, who scored in the last game, should be retained in the centre of the park but, Arthur is likely to come in for Sergi Roberto. Arturo Vidal will occupy the No. 10 slot and look to link the midfield and attack.

Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi will be the two attackers starting against Getafe. With the latter likely to drop deep and link up play, there will be times when Vidal will push forward and operate as an auxiliary forward.

Probable Lineup (4-1-2-1-2): ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets; Arthur, de Jong; Vidal; Messi, Griezmann

Getafe

Jose Bordalas doesn’t have a lot of concerns heading into the game at Camp Nou, with Vitorio Antunes the only injury-enforced absentee, while Damian Suarez is suspended due to accumulation of cards. Getafe are expected to set up in a 4-4-2 formation again, with minimal changes to the side that defeated Valencia comfortably last time out.

David Soria has kept four clean sheets in a row, but will have a challenge at his hands to secure a shut out at Camp Nou. The centre-back duo of Xabier Etxeita and Djene Dakonam ought to be retained by Getafe while Mathias Olivera should continue at left-back. With Suarez ruled out, Allan Nyom is likely to move into the right-back slot.

Former Barcelona starlet Marc Cucurella has been one of Getafe’s most impressive player this season, leading the assist charts for the club with five. He is a shoo-in on the left flank and with Nyom moving into the backline, on-loan Chelsea winger Kenedy is in contention to start on the right side of the midfield. Nemanja Maksimovic and Mauro Arambarri will hold the fort in midfield.

Jaime Mata was on the scoresheet in the win against Valencia and should once again feature from the get-go on Saturday. 37-year-old club captain Jorge Molina scored a brace in the last game and could once again keep top goalscorer Angel Rodriguez, a Barcelona transfer target, out of the starting XI once again.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Soria; Nyom, Etxeita, Dakonam, Olivera; Kenedy, Maksimovic, Arambarri, Cucurella; Mata, Molina

Key Stats

  • Barcelona are unbeaten in their 14 La Liga home games against Getafe (W10 D4), keeping a clean sheet in the last four and scoring six goals in three of their last six matches at Camp Nou against them (6-1, 6-0, 6-0).
  • Getafe have only won 6.9% of their La Liga games against Barcelona (G29 W2 D6 L21) – their lowest win percentage against a single side in the top-flight.
  • Barcelona have won 21 of their last 23 La Liga home games (D2), failing to score in only one of them (0-0 against Real Madrid in December 2019).
  • Getafe have won their last four LaLiga games, keeping a clean sheet on each occasion. They could win five consecutive top-flight games for the first time ever.
  • Barcelona manager Quique Setién has lost his last two La Liga games against Getafe, both as Real Betis manager, after having gone unbeaten in his three previous matches (W2 D1).

Player to Watch

Lionel Messi

Captain Fantastic (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Captain Fantastic (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Barcelona captain is once again helping paper over the cracks at Barcelona, as they look to transit from Ernesto Valverde to the Quique Setien era. Messi has played a critical role in four of the five wins the Catalans have picked up across all competitions under their new manager and was once again the star performer in their win against Real Betis last week.

Messi boasts an excellent record against Getafe, having been involved in 20 goals in his 13 games against Getafe at Camp Nou in all competitions (11 goals and nine assists). However, he hasn’t been able to score or assist on the last two occasions Getafe have visited. He will be hoping to set that straight and fire Barcelona to a win on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction

Barcelona 2-1 Getafe

Getafe have been in high-flying form coming into the weekend clash at Camp Nou, picking up four wins in a row during which they have not conceded a single goal. And they will look to hurt a Barcelona side that are yet to hit peak form under new boss Quique Setien.

However, the Catalans have been unbeaten at home across all competitions this season and have not lost to Getafe on their own backyard in the last 14 meetings. Therefore, we at The Hard Tackle are predicting another home win for the reigning champions with captain Lionel Messi likely to be the driving force behind it once again.

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