Getafe vs Barcelona
Competition: La Liga, Matchday 18
Venue: Coliseum Alfonso Pérez
Timings: Sunday, 6th January 2019, 19:45pm BST/WAT (UK and Nigeria), 14:45pm EST, 11:45am PT (USA), 01:15am IST (India)
La Liga fixtures come thick and fast after the winter break, as FC Barcelona make a trip to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in the Spanish capital, to face a rather inform Getafe.
The Blaugranas ended their year on top of the table having won all four league matches without conceding in the month of December. Ernesto Valverde proved to the fans that winning the Champions League isn’t his only concern.
Lionel Messi sparkled for the Catalan giants scoring 6 goals for the team in the last 4 matches he played, making him the first player to reach double figures for both goals (14) and assists (10) in the top five European leagues this season. La Pulga has reached 15+ goals in LaLiga for each of the last 11 seasons. A feat.
Jeison Murillo, the new signing from Valencia might be given a chance to make his debut against Pepe Bordalas’s men. The 26-year-old defender is a good fit for Barcelona. A Barcelona centre-back has to be good on the ball, able to play quick and accurate passes, maintain a high defensive line and be a part of the build-up for the attack. Murillo is of a slightly different caliber but also does possess some of the aforementioned qualities. The 26-year-old can also function as a full-back if need be. Bottom line, the Colombian can be described as an aggressive, fast and highly physical player who thrives on challenges and tackles.
Los Azulones are on a very commendable 7th position at the moment and have shown displays of some very promising performances.
The team from the Madrid may cause some problems for the star-studded frontline of Barcelona, attempting to tame the most luxuriant attack in the division. Given their defensive record this year, Barcelona will have their work cut out.
Getafe’s tally of 13 goals conceded in 17 matches is second only to Atletico Madrid, while their total of four goals conceded at home is second only to Real Madrid.
The last time Getafe were victorious in the league in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez against Barça was back in 2011. Getafe’s attempt to break this streak was almost successful last year. It would have been, had it not been for late goals from Denis Suarez and Paulinho.
TEAM NEWS –
Left winger Amath Ndiaye will be missing the match due to the season-long injury he picked in December. Markel Bergara could not make it through to the squad list either after he picked up a fractured arm in October last year. Jorge Molina is the highest scorer for the club this season and is most likely to start for the team, all other crucial players are fit to play.
Rafinha is still under treatment with his injury and will be joining the team next season. Thomas Vermaelen picked up an injury last month and is expected back in training later this month. Malcom, Umtiti, and Sergi Samper will have to sit this one out since each of them picked minor injuries last month. The rest of the squad is fit, however and Valverde now has backup options at centre-back with the arrival of new signing Jeison Murillo.
Predicted Lineups –
Getafe (4-4-2): David Soria; Suarez, Dakonam, Bruno Gonzalez, Antunes; Foulquier, Arambarri, Maksimovic, Portillo; Jorge Molina, Angel.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Luis Suarez, Dembele.
It’d be fair to say that Barcelona might have trouble scoring against this team given their defensive record this season. Having said that a frontline like Barcelona’s cannot be denied goals that easily. The last time these two met, it ended in a stalemate last February. That being said, we predict a 2-0 win for the visitors.
Feature Image via Afrisportkits
Messi Image via PixelsTalk.Net
Suarez Image via The Mirror
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