La Liga champions Barcelona will host Getafe at Camp Nou on Sunday evening in their first game since this week’s embarrassing Champions League exit at the hands of Liverpool.
With Barça having already secured the league title, Ernesto Valverde’s men will be looking to re-establish some pride after his side fell to a shocking 4-0 defeat against the Reds at Anfield on Tuesday night, having gone into the game with a three-goal aggregate advantage.
But this won’t be an easy game for the Catalans, with Getafe looking to all but secure fourth spot in ?La Liga with a win on Sunday after what has been an outstanding season for Pepe Bordalas’ men.
Where to Watch
|?When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 12 May?|
|?What Time Is Kick Off?||?17:30 (BST)|
|?Where Is It Played?||?Nou Camp|
|?TV Channel/Live Stream?||?Eleven Sports|
|?Referee?||?Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez|
Another big blow that came from ?Barça’s Champions League exit on Tuesday night was the news that they would be without ?Luis Suarez for the remainder of the campaign, with the striker set to undergo surgery on a knee problem.
The Catalans were already short on options in the final third with Ousmane Dembele still recovering from a muscle problem, but with Suarez’s fresh injury problem they’ll now be even more limited for the remainder of their season.
Things aren’t much better from Getafe’s point of view, with joint-top goalscorer Jaime Mata suspended for Sunday’s clash, making the tough task of getting a win at Camp Nou even tougher. Central defender Bruno Gonzalez will also miss out through suspension, meaning both managers will need to make adjustments to their sides.
|?Barcelona||?Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur; Coutinho, Messi, Malcom.|
?Soria; Damian, Dakonam, Miquel, Cabrera; Shibasaki, Maksimovic, Arambarri, Olivera; Molina, Rodriguez.
Head to Head Record
The recent head-to-head record doesn’t make pleasant viewing for the visitors, with Barcelona having won 10 of the last 13 meetings between the two sides – and the other three games resulting in draws.
It was also the Catalans who won the reverse fixture earlier in the season with first half goals from ?Lionel Messi and Suarez cancelling out Mata’s consolation goal on the stroke of half time, providing plenty of reason for Valverde and his side to be optimistic heading into Sunday’s clash despite recent results.
Despite having won the Spanish title with relative ease, Barcelona’s recent form has been the talk of the footballing world in the last few days. After resting a number of their star men ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League semi final second leg, Barça fell to a 2-0 defeat to Celta Vigo before then losing 4-0 to Liverpool just three days later.
It means Barça have now suffered back-to-back defeats in all competitions for the first time this season, and they’ll be desperate to break their losing streak.
Getafe on the other hand have also had a fine season and are in pole position to take the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot, although their form away from home has been worrying this campaign. They’ve won just one of their last eight away games, and they’ll be desperate to improve that record with what would be a memorable win against Messi and co.
Here’s how each team have performed in their last five fixtures.
|?Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (7/5)||?Getafe 2-0 Girona (5/5)|
|?Celta Vigo 2-0 Barcelona (4/5)||?Real Sociedad 2-1 Getafe (28/4)|
|?Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool (1/5)||?Getafe 0-0 Real Madrid (25/4)|
|?Barcelona 1-0 Levante (27/4)||?Getafe 3-0 Sevilla (21/4)|
|Alaves 0-2 Barcelona (23/4)||?Real Valladolid 2-2 Getafe (14/4)|
On paper it appears to be no contest between the two sides, but it remains to be seen how Barcelona will respond to their midweek collapse. They’ll be desperate to get back to winning ways ahead of their Copa del Rey final against Valencia, but it’ll be no easy task.
Getafe still have everything to play for and have proven to be a tough side to break down this season, but Barça should have enough quality to get the job done.
Prediction: Barcelona 2-0 Getafe