Barça vs. Getafe Preview: From Flame-grilled Whoppers to Frozen Fish



A big deal has been made around the Barça players having to adapt training and dietary procedures to play at mid-day against Getafe. But what about us fans who have to deal with this new earlier time messing up our Sunday? Sheesh, you poor American and Canadian folk having to get up at 6am EST, or staying up until 3am PST to watch!

Some of us weren’t even born in 1965 which was the last time that Barça played a mid-day Liga game at Camp Nou. That was played on Christmas Day against Las Palmas and the home side won 3-2, with goals from Gerd Müller, Benítez and Eladio. 20 years later in 1985, Sevilla hosted the Blaugrana in another mid-day game – played at that time because it was the Easter weekend and in Seville that Saturday night is a big night for bullfighting. Barça won 0-2.

“Barcelona is not a business, it is a feeling. We are not owned by anybody, we are an association; we do not have ‘clients’. I will never put a game on at 12 noon for the Chinese audience. We do want to open up our market but not to forget our roots. While I am the president, Barcelona will never, ever be for sale.” ~ Sandro Rosell

Barça somehow managed to avoid playing a noon match last season, because Rosell wouldn’t capitulate. Sell the soul of the club? Never! However, the mid-day games are an attempt to tap into the lucrative Asian football fan-base and to grow La Liga’s popularity (better timing to watch football matches in the early evening for most Asian countries), and as FCB has recognised Asia as a huge target market for them, they must toe the line and play along. Can’t have your bread buttered on both sides, Sandro me old china – do you want the money for colour copies, or not?


Update on Getafe
Situated about 13kms from Madrid’s city center, Getafe is a city in its own right and part of the Autonomous Community of Madrid of which Madrid is the capital.

Founded in 1983, Getafe Football Club is a relatively new club on the scene. The first 20 years were spent playing in lower divisions before promotion to the Liga Primera was achieved in 2004/05. For the past 9 seasons, Getafe has managed to stay up although they came close to being relegated in the 2008/09 season after finishing 17th – the last position above relegation.

In early 2011, Club Chairman, Ángel Torres, controversially sold the club to the Royal Emirates Group, after first denying that a deal had been made. He and Team Captain, Manuel del Moral, were flown to Dubai (in the United Arab Emirates) to attend a press conference at which the sale was announced. The Royal Emirates Group is chaired by Sheikh Butti bin Suhail al-Maktoum who is a member of Dubai’s Royal Family – the Al-Maktoums.


Getafe has the infamous reputation of being sponsored (2009 – 2012) by fast-food company Burger King. As of this year, a new kit sponsor was announced, and local company Confremar took over. Confremar is a well-known enterprise supplying frozen seafood, ready-made meals and vegetables to local supermarket chains, schools and restaurants, but their logo isn’t a patch on having Burger King on the shirt front.


How’s the Team Looking?
From flame-grilled to tepid, that’s how.

Getafe started with a roar, and even beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the second week of this season. Two weeks later, Barcelona visited and beat them 1-4. That took some wind out of their sails and, since then, the results have been erratic. While Barça’s season results stand at: 19W 2D 1L, Getafe’s are: 8W 5D 9L. On the road, the team is not faring well: 3W 2D 6L.

With 29 points, Getafe sits in 12th position on the Liga Primera Table, but they must be wary of lower teams such as Bilbao, Espanyol and Zaragoza who are starting to find form and may overtake Getafe which would put them under relegation threat once more.

In their last 5 matches, Getafe has lost only once to Real Madrid (4-0), drawn 3 times and won 1 game. They are looking better than they did before Christmas, and a match against the Blaugrana tends to bring out the best in teams.


Shoring up the Defences
In the January transfer window, Getafe was active and secured 2 players on loan from other clubs.

23yo Argentine NT player Federico “Fede” Fernández arrived from Napoli and will play as Centre-back and 23yo Spaniard Sergio Escudero Palomo is on-loan from Schalke after the CB voiced a desire to return to Spain and play. Both have been brought in to cover for the long-term injured defenders Juan Valera and Mané.


The Getafe Squad
Coach Luis García Plaza has named the following players to travel to Barcelona:
Goalkeepers: Codina and Alberto.
Defence: Alexis, M. Torres, Lopo García, Fede and Escudero.
Mid-field: Lacen, Sarabia, Gavilán, P. León, D. Castro, Barrada, Míchel and Borja
Forwards: Álvaro, Paco Alcácer and Colunga.

#1 Goal-keeper, Miguel Moyá, is suspended after being red-carded out of last week’s game against Deportivo, as is Defender Rafa López who received his 5th Yellow in the same game and has to sit out this game.

Long-term injured players (apart from the above mentioned Juan Valera and Mané) are former Zaragoza player Ángel “Queen” Lafita who is sidelined with a damaged knee, and Juan Rodríguez with a hamstring injury.


The Danger Men?
Pretty much all of them, really, as the goals scored this season are shared amongst the forwards, mid-fielders and backs. Diego Castro leads the scorers with 5 goals for the season, followed by Álvaro, Alexis and Barrada with 3 apiece.

Álvaro is one player to watch. The ex-Espanyol player is the man who scored the goal in the dying minutes of last season’s Espanyol vs. Barça debacle derby to level the score at 1-1.

Mid-fielder, Pedro León, is most likely still ruing his Real Madrid venture, after falling out of favour with Mourinho who then also blocked León from a move to Chelsea. León cut his losses and moved back to Getafe on-loan where, he has stated, he would prefer to stay. So there.

Statistics and results will show that Getafe has an 8 goal deficit this season (28 scored, 36 conceded) but that matters little on a per-match basis when all they need to do is score one more than the opposition to win the game.


The Home Side

As opponents play us with the same pressing, physical style that has been employed by everyone we have faced since the last quarter of last season, fresh legs will be crucial along with fresh minds. This means rotation, and lots of it. The effectiveness of that rotation starts with letting this team see that it can play the same way with different players. Hats off to Vilanova for that. ~ Kxevin in his Getafe vs. Barça Review, earlier this season.

Ain’t that the truth.

The away game to Getafe was played just after an International break, as will this Getafe game.

I think that it’s fair to say that since Tito’s absence on the bench, the rotation hasn’t been there, nor have the timely and gutsy substitutions that have won games over the past season.

The starting 11 has each played for around 2,000 minutes over this season. The “2nd string” players have 500 minutes or less. That’s a huge gap which needs to be addressed. There is a lot of bench-sitting going on for some players who need the games.

We certainly saw most of the players with very heavy legs during the Valencia match. That was put down to the match with Madrid 4 days before, but I’d say that the tiredness was even setting in during the Madrid game.

There is a lot of talk around here that there will be some rotation of players seen for this match. Thiago is expected to get a start, as is David Villa.

During today’s press conference, Jordi Roura had this to say about how much Tito Vilanova is being kept in the loop:

“We’ve been in permanent contact with him all the time thanks to new technologies. He’s more active than ever, he’s feeling really well. Tito has access to all the matches and the reports, and that allows us to talk about it all. There’s only a slight difference even though he’s not here”. He also revealed that the exchange of information is not just limited to talking during the matches: “We even have a system of cameras that allow him to see the training sessions”.


The Barça Squad
The team will be selected from the following players:
Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Montoya, Piqué, Bartra, Puyol, Mascherano, Alba, Adriano, Thiago, Fàbregas, Busquets, Song, Iniesta, Alexis, Pedro, Messi, Villa and Tello.

Piqué is back after missing the Osasuna match due to his sending off against Real Sociedad, but he’s sitting on 4 Yellows and another will see him miss the next game.

Xavi is missing with his hamstring injury, Dos Santos is warming his seat in the stands with the addition of a bandaged ankle and Abidal has yet to receive full clearance.

Expect a running game if Thiago is put in charge of the mid-field. It will certainly be less about the possession and more about getting forward which is a good thing when it all goes right. The defensive players will have to be on their toes, though.


If you’ll be at the match and sitting behind the north goal or on the lateral, take sunglasses and a hat. The sun is going to be in your eyes, although it’s supposed to be partly cloudy on Sunday, leading up to rain on Monday.

As this video will show, the South Goal (normally Barça’s favoured go-to goal if they win the toss) will be in complete shadow (from one of the scoreboards on top of the stadium) when the match begins.


The game kicks off at MID-DAY on Sunday 10th February

Click here to convert the match time to your timezone: FC Barcelona vs. Getafe CF

Streams for the match are usually found on First Row, Roja Directa and Bar TV.


  1. Was really nice to see Puyol stopping Alba having a go at one of the Getafe players.

    Please read Sid Lowe’s interview with Ramos. Good one. I didn’t know that Pique and Ramos didn’t get along at all. I didn’t expect them to be best buddies but I was quite surprised. Anyone know what happened between them? I never came across articles suggesting them having problems, not even during a match.

  2. Delighted to see Alexis, Thiago and Song get a run out. Thiago was very selfless today, especially with the second assist for Pique. Song, Iniesta, Alexis all played well. I’d be very surprised if Villa didn’t move on this summer.

    Hoping to see more of Alexis, Thiago and Song on the pitch and more of Cesc on the bench.

    No more Iniesta on the wing, por favor! Now let’s do some Messi bashing. Only one goal? One one assist? Only created a few chances? That is unacceptable. Bench his backside.

  3. I honestly think this is the best match we have played all season. And without Xavi or Busquets on the field!

    Not just for the goals (although they were nice), but every single player put in a strong performance. More importantly, everything clicked as a team. Aside from a few stray passes and Alba’s unfortunate header that lead to the goal, I find it hard to point out where any player put a foot wrong.

    My favourite part of the morning was reading all the tweets from canteranos marveling at the magic of Iniesta. 😀

    1. Agreed, best match of the season for me as well. I haven’t seen that many of our players be a genuine threat in a while.

    2. Did I miss something? Were all canteranos late in appreciating Iniesta? 😀

      Did they just marvel at him today and yesterday and maybe the match before that?

      Has everyone been too busy finding the smallest thing to criticize especially when the players don’t score goals to actually realize what a gem they have in their hands?

      I marvel at him in EVERY match. Every single match. No matter how small his contribution.

      And I have marveled at him for years and years and years now 😀

    3. No, silly, canteranos. The kids from La Masia. Like Gerard Deulofeu, David Babunski, and Javi Espinosa. They were all tweeting about Iniesta yesterday.

  4. I wondered during the game if the absence of Xavi liberated some of the other players. Sometimes it seems as if everything has to go through him and everybody has to circle around him. Him not being there empowered the others.
    Of course, in many circumstances, his absence might do the opposite and, in a way, his ghostly presence hovered over the field. But today wasn’t one of those days.

  5. This match also shows the value of an early goal, against an opponent that wasn’t really organized. If you look at the RM and Valencia draws, those two opponents had a plan, and executed it: press, get physical and deny space. Getafe just seemed to want to get in the way, sort of. Any team that plays this Barça like that is going down, and it’s going to be ugly.

    A number of things struck me, post big TV viewing:

    — Song understands space in the Barça system now. You can see him watching play and moving to where he will be most useful. He really is developing into the new Keita, rather than any Busquets approximation. Through balls are also excellent. Still prone to the silly foul on those tricky little Liga dudes.

    — Iniesta, given that much space, becomes impossible to control. There is always nattering about “the next Xavi,” but I’d be hard pressed to find a better choice than Iniesta.

    — The game comes so easily for Thiago that he sometimes finds himself making errors based on how easy it all seems. “I’ll just flick that …. oops!” He’s a remarkable player who is still maturing and learning to perfect his alchemy.

    — We have to renew Adriano. Good lord, has he come into his own this season. He just eats up space, and the one play where he out-turboed a Getafe attacker, turned and fired a perfect pass to (Messi?) to flip the attack was just remarkable. He and Alves are an either/and, rather than an either/or.

    — Sanchez played a typical match for him, except that this time he scored a goal, and I might add a goal of immensely more difficulty than the ones he has missed recently. The goal also came as a natural consequence of the flow of play, as his goals usually do, rather than him doing some striker stuff. Interesting. And his defense. Even if he never scored again, I’d play him just for his insane tracking back. His slide tackles are improving, as well.

    His is a complex situation because like Iniesta, scoring isn’t the point. Facilitating scoring is the point, with the occasional bonus goal to make things all purty. I hope the club keeps him, even as it wouldn’t entirely shock me if he is sold this summer, particularly if the Neymar thing happens.

    — Wonder what people think of Roura’s rotation/substitution policies now?

    — That daylight business was weird.

    1. I would pick Alexis every day of the week too. But the problem is that his best side (on the right) is also Pedro’s best side. I would like to play both, but in that case, who goes over to the left?

    2. No quandary for me. Sanchez is more versatile than Pedro in the attack in his movement, space making and passing. In a side in which everyone is on form (Villa, Sanchez) Pedro is the super sub.

    3. Oh, and Tello! The club needs a player like him. I vacillate on him, then he goes and does something like he did today. Ultimately I just don’t think that the things he offers are going to overcome his deficiencies, though.

    4. Great analysis – agree with almost everything, except that Alves and Adriano are an either-or proposition. Dani had some good offensive moments later on, but I still think he’s shaky defensively, and even on offense, he had many more bad passes/crosses than good ones. It makes me sad, but I think he’s done as a key contributor to the squad.

    5. Based on recent form, he seems to be approaching his traditional level of effectiveness. We’ll see if it’s sustained.

      Alves will be the complexity, I think, in that Adriano will feel like he’s ready for regular, first-team football somewhere.

    6. Offensive effectiveness perhaps, but it just doesn’t seem like he’s that interested in defending. Not sure Montoya is the answer yet, but Adriano definitely is more balanced, and gives me more confidence. Too bad he’s so delicate.

    7. I know. I also think that the either/or is going to rear its head this summer, when players are going on the block. Both will want first-team football, and with Alba being the fixture on the left, the right is in play. Adriano for some reason seems more effective on the right than on the left.

    8. Adriano for some reason seems more effective on the right than on the left.

      Which is hilarious, because last season we were all cringing when Adriano played on the right.

  6. Fantastic match! Well worth getting up at 6 am for.

    The iniesta and thiago combination in midfield is breath taking, they complement each other so well. Iniesta is having the best stretch of form in his career, which is why he needs to be placed centrally, even if it means Cesc is shown the bench or played up front IMO.

    Song had his best match in the colors by far, as many of the others noted. His technical ability is sublime, and it seems like he’s been really studying the Busi role well.

    Can’t help but wonder if the result in valencia would have been different had we played with iniesta in the middle and some real width on the left…

    In other news, Athletico are losing 2-0 to Rayo. La liga seems to be pretty wrapped up at this point and I’m expecting some heavy rotation from the coaching staff to keep our best players as fresh as possible for the business end of the season.

  7. In another funny note, watched a bit of the Milan match, and Robinho (?!) was apparently getting on Krkic about whining about calls less and playing more. Robinho! This is a crazy world we live in.

  8. No more Messidependency. It’s good to see other people scoring. Happy for ‘Lexus’ as well. (I think lately, it’s more ‘Cristianodependency’, kkkk)

    1. Well, Barça is a team with no officially designated striker, so when the system works as it is supposed to, everybody can score goals. The potential is there. So Xavi makes those runs into the box, Sanchez makes them, Pique makes them, Villa makes them, etc, etc.

      When it works it’s a thing of beauty. It still hasn’t really worked against an aggressive, physical, pressing opponent, dating back to Chelsea of last season. So there is that hurdle to be overcome. But given the form that the side is in right now, I suspect they are getting their leaping shoes on.

  9. I wouldn’t read too much into this match at all. Except to say that Alexis needs to play more. Real test will come the likes of RM and quality opponents in the CL. Not against teams like Getafe who didn’t turn up and looked in a hurry to get home for a late lunch or early dinner.

  10. Rayo did it. That’s 12 points on ATM, 16 on RM. That gap is an absolute boon, as it means rotation, rotation, rotation. Suddenly, dropping points in the Liga ain’t so bad. And the craziness looming:

    Sat. Granada
    Wed. Milan
    Sat. Sevilla
    Tues. RM at Camp (Copa)
    Sat. RM away (Liga)

    That there is an intense block of matches. Win them all and this team becomes epic.

    1. Sounds terrifying/marvellous!

      You’re the one who doesn’t care about the Copa, right? Would you go as far as rotating the squad in the Copa Clasico in order to rest them for the Liga Clasico? It’s an interesting case because the logic of “Doesn’t matter if it’s a Copa match because it’s a Clasico!” doesn’t apply here because the La Liga game is also a Clasico.

    2. Yep. I would be rotating the hell out of everything that isn’t Champions League. And I would use a lot of B-teamers for the away Classic, just to flip them the bird in their house.

      Good results against Granada and Sevilla would stamp the Liga PAID, even though it pretty much is anyhow. The only important match on that list that should get our best lineup is that Milan match. Man, I’d love to kill the tie at their house with 2-3 away goals.

    3. So you wouldn’t play the best lineup in both Clasicos?! That sounds weird. Let’s assume that La Liga is secured once the Copa Clasico arrives, why not play our best players in that game? Because they could get injured and miss a CL tie? Resting them for La Liga doesn’t make sense since we assumed that the Liga is won. And the next CL match is some time away.

    4. Liga and Champions League would be my priority. The Liga lead gives comfort in being able to rotate and not worry too much about dropping points. The Champions League match against Milan next week would be the match that got my best available lineup, keeping those players as fresh and rested as possible. Everything else would be secondary to that goal.

      My view of the Copa is the same, irrespective of the opponent. That it is RM in the semis makes me absolutely no nevermind. Rotation, rotation, rotation. So I would do a rotation for Granada, try to destroy Milan, then see how my key players felt before the Sevilla match.

      After that, I would evaluate things for the Copa match, with an eye toward keeping them fresh and injury-free for the stretch run. Think of the value fresh players would have been in that Chelsea tie. How do we know they weren’t fresh? Fresh players concentrate, and finish well. Them lads looked tired at the end of a looong season, short rotation and too damned many matches with RM.

      Many are thinking “beat RM.” I’m thinking, “Win the big two.”

    5. I can understand your logic. The difference between us is about how much we value the Copa trophy. But that is of course open to debate.

    6. This is the semifinal – we get past them and whoever we play in the final, which is a single game at the end of the season, we’ll probably beat. And that’s a trophy.

      So it makea absolutely no sense to rotate anyone in the Copa Classico, we have to win that one.

      We can probably afford to rotate in the Liga Classico but only if don’t end up shipping a large number of goals – B team or not, that would be a stain on the club’s reputation, and given how EE can score a lot of goals if given the space, this is not at all as unlikely as people think. The truth is we’ve been lucky in several recent games against them that their finishing has been atrocious, and that was with the best squad available for those games.

      Play the B team against Granada and Sevilla, go 100% in the other games.

      Of course, we know Messi will play every single minute in all of them, but if we at least rotate the other players that would help a lot

    7. What is truly amazing about this Barca team is the outstanding depth. They really could put a “second” eleven on the pitch (with Messi) and it would probably be the second best team in the world. RM has nothing like the same depth.

    8. I wouldn’t get carried away. RM is still the second-best team in the world. They had key players out, and still played us to a draw in the first leg of the Copa semis. Their midfield/attack can offer DiMaria, Ozil, Modric, Xabi Alonso and Khedira. That is depth in that they have a world-class player to call upon no matter what happens.

      No Marcelo, Pepe or Ramos? Okay. They came out with Carvaho, a relic that still has guile, Varane, who was a one-man battleship AND scored the tying goal. No, they are plenty deep, and finding their form at the right time for their Champions League aspirations, the only big title they have left to shoot for.

  11. I was hoping Ateletico would stay more than 4 points above Real. I have a feeling they’re going to swap positions very soon…

    1. The more points between us and the second placed team, the better. But of course I prefer to have Real in third place…


  12. I would love to go all in on a review but I am way too tired from celebrating the tremendous match we all watch today. The talk in the pub eventually led to who do you think the motm was. And for some reason they asked me first because I was an American who maybe had a different perspective. I said it was a toss up between Song and Inesta. Song did well and I think for adjusting to this squad it is finally starting to click. Inesta was just… Well what can I tell you some of is touches were just unreal and we didn’t get to see the replays until later.

    Song…Inesta… Hell the whole team was massive today!!!

    Would love to discuss more but I gotta get some sleep. I am sure there will be more talk of this during the week.


  13. Sorry Kxevin. But if you read properly therefore is no X between the K and E 😉 I remember you saying many years back that you hate people addressing you as Kevin instead of Kxevin. That comment about is to the Kevin017.

  14. @ Kevin017

    he (Song) is a more complete package than Busquets.

    But so is Ronaldo but that doesn’t make him better than Messi right?

    And I disagree that we have a stronger bench than Madrid.

    Coentrao, Essien, Varane, Kaka, Modric, Higuain.

    Adriano, Montoya, sMasch, Thiago, dos Santos Villa.

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