Scene: A bus pulls up in front of a small stadium. A group of men emerge from the bus.
Gerard Piqué: It doesn’t look old enough to be Roman.
Xavi: It’s just called a Coliseum.
Bojan Krkic: No wonder I couldn’t find an Emperor Alfonso Perez…
Piqué: So there are no lions?
Gabriel Milito: Thank God for their sakes. [adjusts fur coat]
Xavi: [turning to camera] Alfonso Perez Muñoz was born in Getafe on September 26, 1978. A striker, he grew up in the Real Madrid youth ranks, eventually making the first team, where he played for 5 years before moving to Betis. He is one of the few players to play for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, having moved to la ciudad condal in 2000 as one of Joan Gaspart’s major signings. He lasted just 2 years, though, and returned to Betis, where he ended his career in 2005, the year Getafe debuted in the first division. Because of Alfonso’s fame, Getafe named their stadium after him despite his having never played for the team.
Piqué: Who the hell are you talking to?
Xavi: The camera.
Piqué: [looking around] There’s no camera here…Xavi, you sure they shouldn’t call you “inflamed cerebro”?
[A wind gust blows a tumbleweed by the group]
Bojan: This place is kind of creepy.
Carles Puyol: Don’t worry about it, little guy, nothing is going to happen—
[a blur smashes into him]
Puyol: What the hell?
The Burger King: Who wants to save some cash!? [shoves money into Puyol’s pockets]
Dani Alves: I’ll save you, mi capitan! [kicks BK in the face, dropping him to the ground.]
Lionel Messi: You de Jong-ed King Radical! In the face!
BK: [gurgles, blood gushing from his nose and mouth]
Alves: Wait, that’s not a mask?
BK: Gah! Ith my faysh.
Alves: Oh man, I’m really sorry. Uh, I guess now is bad time to ask for a cheeseburger.
Messi: I totally thought he was King Radical?
Bojan: [looking a little green] Míster, should we call that man a doctor?
Pep Guardiola: Let nothing distract you! Focus!
Bojan: Okay, I won’t. I will not focus on my need to vomit.
Guardiola: [stepping over the bleeding, groaning BK without looking at him] Okay, boys, let’s get into the stadium to warm up.
Alves: I really want a burger now.
Piqué: Bojan had one before the trip. I think you’re about to get it…
[The team moves into the stadium, Bojan holding his stomach]
A trip to the capital. A trip to Getafe, to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. They’re 10th in the league at 4-1-4 (14GF, 13GA), but they’re 3-0-1 (10GF, 3GA) at home. Their lone home loss was a 0-2 defeat by Málaga on Jornada 4. And their second home loss? Coming right up, fools!
Getafe lost Pedro Leon and Roberto Soldado to transfers and I think they’ve suffered because of it, despite bringing some reinforcements in Mosquera, Javier Arizmendi, and Adrian Colunga. Those players simply cannot replace what was lost and that will cause a dip. I’ve pegged them to finish 11th and I think that’s about right with where they are now.
Barça comes in off a tough draw in Denmark and could be looking to put a hurting on someone. The squad list is: Valdés, Pinto, Adriano, Maxwell, Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Milito, Abidal, Busquets, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Thiago, Keita, Pedro, Messi, Bojan, and Villa. So it’s another chance for Thiago to get playing time, though I don’t think he will. Just along for the ride, as usual. Perhaps if we’re up 4-0 he’ll get out there, but I doubt it.
So then, my preferred lineup: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Busi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Villa, Messi. There’s no reason to save anyone for the Copa match, which is a 2-0 lead going into the home game. So put out the big lineup and kick some serious patootie. And if that silly Burger King gets in the way, it’s on like Donkey Kong.
I know I’m not at 1,000 words yet, but interestingly, I haven’t seen a single Getafe match (how has that happened?) so I can’t speculate as to how they’ll come out against us.
Official Prediction: 2-0.
TV: Here in the US, the match is on ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com.
Time: 7pm local/Getafe, 1pm EST/NYC, check your local time here.
Weather: 55F (~13C), cloudy, 0% chance of rain. Take your sweaters, boys.