Liga Preview: Barcelona-Getafe, Tuesday 3pmET
Getafe. That name again. They’re always around, even though we only played them twice this season. The reason? 1-0 and being 6 points back. Never to recover, never to challenge for the title again. Only that was in November and November seems a long time ago. You might remember that match as one of the matches Messi didn’t score in (how absurd is that statement!?) or you might remember it as the time when we peppered their goal to no effect. They had one shot on target, Barça had 6. Possession was skewed to the degree of 73-27 in their house. There were posts, saves, and a goal called back for an offside that probably wasn’t (though it wasn’t super wrong either).
Yet of course the world reacted the way Soccernet did: “Getafe humble Barca”. Oh? Such a humbling, such a dramatic destruction, such comeuppance was achieved the likes have never been seen. You know what? That’s bull. Euler defended the team’s honor in the wake of the negativity and the over-the-top reaction then; now it comes to me to dredge it all back up simply because, well, 4 points and the possibility of making it 1 going into Wednesday’s humbling of Atleti in their own stadium (seriously, if you have hope that Atleti will pull of a stunner, well, they won’t). So much for that trashing RM was going to give us leading up to the clásico they were hoping would include a pasillo in the Camp Nou.
Guardiola knows better than to let his players relax and his players know better than to think they can relax. But it’s all in the pursuit of getting better, regardless of injuries, regardless of tumors, regardless of thyroid problems, regardless of man-eating jungle assassins everywhere you turn. Nothing will stop this team from competing. In November it was the end of an era. Then the Club World Cup put that to rest for a week. The Espanyol draw brought it back onto the horizon and the Villarreal draw made it a crisis of ungodly proportions. The loss to Osasuna, well, that was not just the end of the season, but also the end of the world. Skynet had launched and we were all doomed.
Since that loss to Osasuna in early Hlebruary, only one team the league has gotten with in a single goal at full time: Atleti in the Calderon (and no, that’s not an argument for why they’ll beat RM, but rather why RM will stomp them 5-0). Sure, the goals allowed aren’t as pretty as they were early on when Valdes went something like infinitybillion minutes without conceding, but at 27GF to 7GA is not exactly a terrible mark.
I’m not really a Pepsimist by nature because I don’t see much other than the statistics when it comes to winning matches. This would be our 10th win in a row, but that doesn’t make it less likely than a loss or a draw. Like how if you flip a coin and it lands on heads 9 times in a row, the likelihood of it landing on heads the 10th time is 50%. Unless, like Barça, it’s a rigged coin. And that’s the thing, Getafe is kinda really crap away from home: 4W-4D-8L (16GF, 27GA). Just happens that Barça are 14W-1D-0L (60GF, 8GA) at home. 60 to 8! The next best team in terms of goals allowed at home is, interestingly, Getafe with 12. Madrid have allowed 17 while scoring exactly the same number as Barça. The worst, by the way, is Zaragoza with just 23 allowed.
Despite not being a Pepsimist, I’m still a cule (I believe a pepsimist is a type of cule rather than the other way around, though I think you could argue it both ways) and I think the league is not particularly close to being won. Think about it: basically, we have to win every single match from here on out to ensure that we have a chance of being in the running. And they could still beat us by simply winning all the matches that aren’t against us. Check out the scenarios here. If Barça wins out, that would be 16 matches in a row with a W at the end, something that strikes me as very unlikely.
Still, we have Messi. Official Prediction: 3-0. Getafe gets smacked around because, well, this team is butter (it’s on a roll).