Barcelona look to continue their 100% record in La Liga this weekend when they travel to Madrid to face Getafe on Saturday night (7pm BST).
It is certainly no walk in the park for the Catalans this weekend in Madrid, beyond the obvious reason. Luis Garcia Plaza’s Getafe took three points off Barcelona in this fixture last season and the Coliseum has proven to be a difficult ground to travel to for Spain’s heaviest hitters.
Tito Vilanova will return to the Barcelona dugout following his touchline ban against Valencia, a suspension he picked up over a nothing incident with the officials against Osasuna in week two.
But all is not totally well for Barcelona’s manager. He is without Andres Iniesta and Alexis Sanchez, both of whom picked up injuries while on international duty. But the other looming problem is the recent international break, where his squad was scattered right across the globe and forced into meaningless friendlies while eating up the miles.
It is no great surprise that every major club across Europe struggles after an international break, especially if their first league fixture is a difficult away trip.
Barcelona would have been hoping to work much more with David Villa during these past two weeks, but the Spanish international was called up to Vicente Del Bosque’s squad and scored in the friendly against Saudi Arabia.
It is all pluses for David Villa going forward, however, as the spell on the pitch for his country would have been another step towards full fitness. His call-up also showed the faith Del Bosque has in the player and his importance to the national side. There’s no question that David Villa will be a major player for Barcelona this season.
Jordi Alba, meanwhile, is sure to be sidelined this weekend with tonsillitis.
It’s likely we’ll see Cesc Fabregas feature from the start once more, despite his poor form and very public difficulties at the club. Pedro has again been in good form over the international break, finding the net and setting up an assist against Saudi Arabia. The winger did not feature in the starting line-up against Georgia but is likely to start against Getafe.
In Getafe, Barcelona are faced with a very good opposition whose merits fly under the radar outside of Spain. Luis Garcia is one of the best managers in La Liga and he has more than his fair share of upsets against the biggest clubs.
As mentioned, Getafe beat Barcelona at the Coliseum last season and have already taken all three points from Real Madrid earlier in this campaign. This small club in Madrid are no pushovers.
They will frustrate Barcelona and they will attack Victor Valdes’ goal. The Barcelona defence has been far from convincing this season, and the tenacity of the home side will cause them a number of problems.
Getafe v Barcelona Betting Tips Verdict
The disappointment from the game is sure to be the poor turnout at the Coliseum – a regular occurrence due to ticket prices and kick-off times. Not even the most glamorous clubs can fill Getafe’s stadium.
I certainly fancy Getafe to get something from Barcelona in this game, and I’m backing the home side for the full three points. Luis Garcia has had the majority of his squad to train with over the last two weeks and Barcelona’s fatigue will show.