After a rather exciting victory Wednesday against a tough AC Milan, we return to Liga action Saturday night for the 10 pm (local time) kick off against a Getafe side with just 2 victories all season. You have to feel the team will be buzzing after what is likely to be their most enjoyable victory of the year. Despite the tight scoreline I think we all know it could have been more in our favor as we had a lot of really nice attacking plays that were not converted. Nevertheless, despite this game not having the grandure of a night in the San Siro, it’s equally important. It seems almost ridiculous that we have to win each and every game of the season, but with Madrid ahead of us and looking extremely focused, that could well be close to the case, so tonight we all want a “W”. Madrid basically has a guaranteed 3 points this weekend as they face city rivals Atletico. Seroiusly, Atletico basically dissolve everytime they play Madrid, it’s a joke. In fact, the Mattress Makers have not won versus Real in the last 12 years, since being promoted in 2002 after they got relegated in 2000 under Ranieri and Antic.
For those not aware, Getafe is one of the few (along with only Malaga I believe) La Liga sides with foreign ownership. In April 2011 the club was purchased by the Royal Emirates Group, a group from Dubai. However these owners haven’t exactly splashed the cash in the same style as Malaga or in other lands PSG and Manchester City. There were however a lot of new signings, 13 of them, but none of significant value nor stature. The signings are well known La Liga players with familiar names like tough defender Lopo, midfielder Lacen, ex-Sporting’s Diego Castro, once bright keeper prospect Moya fresh from his failed time in Valencia, Michel, once a prospect at Gijon, Valera, Pedro Leon, and back from his time in Istanbul Guiza. Then there is also former Real Madrid right back Miguel Torres, who I thought was always pretty good, and their top scorer is Venezuelan Miku with 5 goals. So there is decent quality in this team and they are unlikely to go down and have probably struggled thus far due to the fact they had a completely new set of players to work with.
Barça will travel tomorrow to arrive in Madrid around midday. 20 players have made the journey, including Adriano who was given medical clearance this week, but excluding Iniesta. Who will play is always a wonderful guessing game and considering the game Wednesday there may be a bit of rotation. I for one would like to see some improved performances upfront, aside from Messi of course. Pedro, Alexis, and Villa all need to start getting more directly invovled in either creating and definitely scoring. It would be great to have our forward line on song come the big game against Real December 10th, I am especially missing those extremely well timed Pedro finishes.
Here is the full squad of 20:
Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Fàbregas, Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Alexis, Messi, Thiago, Mascherano, Keita, Sergio, Pedro, Maxwell, Adriano, Abidal, Fontàs, Cuenca