Liga Preview: Getafe – Barça; Saturday 12noonEST, GolTV


Breath. In, pause, now out. Just let the air enter and leave smoothly, no hurries, no worries. Find your cave, don’t think about Marla.

Why the zen master approach? Because the league is back, baby, and it’s time to get into the season’s groove, but it’s too early for cardiac arrest. It is, however, time to do those breathing exercises and get ready to let loose on the world, one game at a time, at our miraculously high-decible level. This, of course, is what we’ve been waiting for. This is, naturally, what makes us so obsessive: Barça! Barça! Baaaarça! Hell yeah.

I do not subscribe to the idea that the past is dead, that we are obligated to win, that we deserve to win. We aren’t and we don’t. But we are obligated to play well, to play our brand of the truly beautiful game. In the process we will score goals and win games and that, of course, is the point, but it is also a fun bonus for us cules, who, day-in-day-out dream of tight passing triangles and one-two combinations more often than is healthy. I walk down hallways and play imaginary passes to imaginary teammates around coworkers who have no idea how badly they were just schooled. It’s thrilling. And not the least bit lame. You do it, too.

Given that we have 7 games over the next 22 days, we are about to enter a relentless cycle of previews, liveblogs reviews, tactical discussions, and back to previews. Are you ready? Because I am. If you’re not, look at this. DID YOU JUST LOOK AT THAT BECAUSE I DID AND IT IS FUCKING ON. Holy Christ, I feel like CaptainCatalunyaViscaElBarca, but without the fiddle.

Like I said, breath. In, out.

12pm. Noon. Only a few more hours. Only a few things getting in the way (work, sleep, that whole pesky feeding of oneself). I’m no William Wallace, I realize that, but regardless of my speech-making abilities, I believe that, yes, we will beat the English. Wait, sorry, getting ahead of myself here. Getafe is next, right? Right. Okay. They’re from the capital, not the sun-soaked shores of Her Majesty’s domain where they play open, beautiful passing games where the ball rarely leaves the ground.

Getafe. They lead the league, having scored more goals than anyone else (4) in their opening match against Racing Santander, and, obviously, enter on a one-match winning streak. Roberto Soldado is the current pichichi with a hat trick (if he plays like that every week, he’ll wrap up the individual trophy by Halloween!). It’s a different game against Barça of course, but it is after an international break that saw the likes of Messi and Xavi put in 180 minutes. Getafe, unfortunately for them, don’t have a FIFA virus and come in well rested, which could help them if they come out pressing because they won’t tire particularly quickly.

The good news for Barça–the best news–is that Andres Iniesta is back. Our own little Ghostface Killah should get his season debut against Getafe, though I don’t expect him to start after three full months on the sidelines. Supposedly he is 100%, so it’s possible that he gets the start and plays with a fairly short leash, for fitness reasons. If we’re not starting Messi or Xavi because of fatigue–certainly a possibility with Inter looming on Wednesday (!)–then Don Andres could get the call to direct the midfield. That wouldn’t be a problem even if he weren’t 100%, of course.* Chyngynskiy could also play a part in the match, though I do not expect him to start.

I’m baaaaaaack!

The bad news is that Messi probably won’t start because of his late return from internationals. Which, of course, begs the question why on earth are these matches scheduled so close together? I hate breaks in the domestic season for internationals. I really do. I think the FIFA calendar should be set up very differently, but I suppose that’s fodder for a different post. Bojan is out too, which I think means that Pedro! grabs another start. More bad news is that Marquez is still out, which means that Puyol will probably have to start.

The squad: Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Chygrynskiy, Maxwell, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta, Keita, Sergio Busquets, The Yaya, Ibrahimovic, Messi, Henry, Pedro!, Jeffren

Predicted Lineup: Valdes, Alves, Marquez, Pique, Maxwell, The Yaya, Keita, Xavi, Jeffren, Ibra, Pedro!

This is, obviously, not the best lineup we can field, but with Iniesta, Messi, and Henry as potential subs, we can rescue any points that are left on the table after 60 minutes. Since this won’t be an easy match, we’re going to have to take it to them early and often and that is where we’re going to miss Bojan a little. Jeffren isn’t as polished as Bojan (and Bojan isn’t that polished yet), so he won’t be able to deal with some of the situations quite as well, but he did really well in preseason and I hope that he can pull it off.

Of course, there’s a high probably that this game will start with the same lineup that I’ve predicted. It’s pretty much assured that it won’t happen. But I will assume it will.

So, official prediction: 1-2, goals by Ibra and Pedro! So stoked!

Liveblog absolutely happening for this one. I’ll be there, rooting on my RayRay and screaming obscenities at passing Madridistas I swear are everywhere in my neck of Brooklyn. By the way, I am tentatively planning on being at Nevada Smiths for next week’s Atletico match if you’d like to join me. I’ll let you know closer to game day, but consider it a real possibility that you can meet your idol next Saturday! The screaming teeny-bopper girls might get in your way, though, they love me.

Kickoff Times:
Local (Madrid/Spain): 6pm
New York/EST: 12pm noon
San Diego/PST: 9am
Sydney, Australia: 2am Sunday
Singapore: 12am midnight Sunday (Sat night/Sun morning)
India: 8:30pm (is this right? I’m having trouble finding out if India is 2.5 or 3.5 hours ahead of Spain)

*FIFA player ratings are out and Iniesta is an 88 and Xavi is an 87…are the EA guys serious? They’re twins, people! They should both be 99s! But they do understand that Cronaldo is worse than Iniesta: he gets an 87. W00t.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. So they’re saying that Marquez won’t play against Getafe, but none of the kids are in the lineup, either. Sounds like a traditional back line of Alves/Pique/Puyol/Maxwell.

    1. He’s in….now he’s out….now he’s back in.

      Sumit, posts that include a link are held for moderation. One of us logs in to activate it, and off you go.

  2. Good preview. I expect to see Maxwell in over Abidal with our international attack on hiatus. He and Keita formed a nice partnership early on in the preseason. And I assume Marquez in your lineup is a typo. Puyol perhaps?

    Getafe is one of those teams that always makes me a little nervous. Too many bad memories, particularly from when ‘der Blonde Engel’ was their gaffer.

  3. Sumit, sorry the spam filter decided to grab you. I released your posts. Thing is, the official squad list is out and Marquez is not on it. Apparently he’s being reserved.

  4. Yes, the official site says that Marquez is back in the lineup, now. Weird.

    Getafe is a bogey team. I hate ’em.

  5. i really don’t like any team from Madrid, but that’s just me. I doubt Marquez will start. I think Puyol , Chynasty and Abidal in the back…Iniesta and Messi will come in as subs.

  6. yeah the back line will be interesting. alves didnt play too many minutes over the break, but he did have to fly over the ocean, and he arrived late. then again, he’s an animal. his availability gives us a lot more options.

    still i am interested to see what pep does if dani is *not* available.

    cant wait to see the lineup tomorrow morning!

  7. do you have a ps3 isiah?? if soo add me – goal-93! 😀
    wow messi and xavi must be TIRED…they should not start and rest up for inter…..!!

  8. My brother invited me to go to some Greek Festival thing tomorrow, my answer was a drawn out zombie “fuuuuuuuuuutboooooooooooool.” You would think he would know that Saturday and Sunday mornings are reserved for futbol watching.

    I have never played imaginary passes to imaginary teammates around coworkers before, but I totally plan to now. 😀 Only sometimes they’ll accidentally have a ball kicked in their faces.

    If Marquez is in the line-up, he should start I think. If only because both Pique and Puyol could use some rest before the Inter match. And I wouldn’t mind if Messi could get some minutes in, if only to let some frustration out, that way he’s all back to bidness for Inter.

  9. damnit, this is at the same time as spurs manutd
    not that i’d choose EL BARCA over that match but i wanted to watch it, oh well 😛

    y’all better remember to take soldado out of your FF teams!

  10. Puyol played only the match against Belgium right? I’m all worried about Xavi, Messi, Pique & Ibra. Yeah Ibra still needs to get used to the system so he does need to play all 90 minutes. May be we are better off with this line-up
    Alves, Puyol, Chyggy, Abidal
    Yaya, Iniesta, Keita
    Pedro, Ibra, Henry

    subs : Xavi or Busquets for Iniesta (depending on the score)
    Messi for Pedro( or Ibra since he played all 180 minutes for Sweden)
    Jeffren for Henry

  11. If Guardiola feels ballsy, and just a tad crazy, then I say:


    Cons: – No chemistry with so many new inclusions.
    – Attacking Creativity limited.
    Pros: – What forwards runs at Puyol-Yaya-Chygnasty and doesn’t shit himself? and thats with Busi on his back
    -Maxwell, Alves, and Pedro showering Ibra with Crosses.
    – JDS lurking for longshots
    – Keita either in box receiving crosses, or wating for longshots

    Cons (again): probably never going to happen.

    for a more conservative(read: realistic) line up:


    i think in the end he’ll play Puyol, Xavi, and Henry, because he knows this is important, inspite of the fatigue and Inter coming up.
    Iniesta will relieve Xavi, Jeffren for Henry, and Chyg or Pique for Puyol, again with Inter in Mind.

    Then against Inter Pep will go with Xavi-Yaya-Keita, Messi-Ibra-Iniesta vs inter. Iniesta will keep Maicon at home, especially with their slow CBs

  12. neither puyol or xavi played wednesday. They should be fine, Alves doesn’t get tired, EVER!, players like Marquez and Iniesta have to be allowed in the squad slowly to get match fit.

  13. THE YAYA is only rated at 82 ?!?!! Injustice ! Lass 84? you’re shitting me EA ! Ill have to begrudgingly enjoy the game now.

    1. You shouldn’t burden yourself with such thoughts. Let the YAYA take his revenge on them himself! 😀

    2. Hey now, lest at least give them credit for ackowldeging that Messi is the best player, and Iniesta the best Midfielder on the planet. Xavi the same rating as Lampard??? BARF!

  14. It’s probably false hope, but at least it’s out there!

    And no wonder Messi was so crestfallen when he came back from Argentina. The criticism has hit such a point (presumably in Argentina) that Bilardo has to come out and say the obvious!

    Well, there’s always Barca to look forward to!

  15. Does anybody know if Getafe have pulled the Burger King celebration yet? HAHA. I have a feeling they will be under pressure under management to do it if they score against us.

    1. i’d gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today. ha!

      sorry. had to get that one out of my system.

      dude…i can’t remember my fantasy football password & don’t have the time to make another one….argh!

      oh well. la liga is back!! iniesta is back! marquez is back! kind of. we’re finally gonna get to see a full strength barca. i can’t wait to see how ibra plays off of iniesta & vice versa.


  16. Oh Man, it seems like Sneijder is fit to play.

    Without him i was 100% confident of a win in Milan

    I think that the game against Getafe is more important than the one in Milan, a tie against Inter will do us fine.

    Still, i was looking forward to a win against Inter, and this gives them a fighting chance.

    But like Pep says, one game at a time.

    We beat Getafe tomorrow. and worry about Inter afterward.

  17. Hey guys, how do I get on the liveblog thingy? My comments always appear as comments and not included in the general chat.

    Also, I’m super psyched for tomorrow, even if it will be almost a B team playing.

    1. to participate in the liveblog don’t post your comments here like normal.

      you have to put your name in the liveblog, and submit the comments in the embedded liveblog form.

      oh, as for “B-team”, its Guardiola. We’ll have sufficient firepower. I forget who said it last year but “There is no fatigue when you are winning”

  18. as Kevin said – getafe is a bogey team – and give me some belly butterflies whenever we play them.
    whatever team, i think we will roll over them.
    and btw, India is 3.30 hrs ahead of Espana during the daylight savings (mar-nov) and 4.30 hrs otherwise (nov-mar).

  19. Oh, common! you have to be kidding me!

    9:00am PST GolTV Barcelona v Getafe in La Liga
    9:00am PST CBS Nadal v Gonzalez in US Open
    9:00am PST web Livorno v Milan in Serie A
    9:30am PST FSC Tott’ham v ManUtd in EPL

    you’re f’n kidding me man!! all of my technological advancements can’t save me here.

    and its not as if there is a choice. Barcelona goes on the big screen of course. Nadal gets streamed on my netbook, and well, i might record the EPL game, but i can only really get excited about the EPL if its two big teams playing live, and i don’t know if i’ll end up watching it. ::sigh:: maybe i should just be thankful.

    I might consider waking up at 7 for:

    7:00am PST ESPN2 Liverpool v Burnley in EPL
    7:00am PST FSC Chelsea v Stoke in EPL

    i’ll keep flipping through to see which game is less boring. probably liverpool, but i still see my sleep winning over both of them.

  20. so happy that liga is back. i think that this is going to be tough match. getafe are usually difficult to defeat. i have my fingers crossed on this one.


    This works awesome for me. Barca at noon EST and then the Michigan-Notre Dame game at 3:30 EST. Its either gonna be a really good or really bad day, we’ll see.

    Getafe are a damn good team and I still don’t trust any game against them since the Schuster team kicked us out of the Copa del Rey.

    Cata Diaz is a good defender, Soldado is a good poacher, and all their mini Madridistas (including their owner) hate our guts and will fight hard against us. They always seem to give us a hard game and we rarely beat them by more than one goal. Last year it was 1-1 at their place if I recall correctly and a 1-0 that maybe should have been a little more at our place. Add to that the fatigue factor and we have a tense game coming up. Iniesta could not come back at a better time. Lets get him back to the fold quickly. However, losing Bojan for a month and a half due to a month and the U-20 WC means we need Henry to relieve Zlatan at the 9 and we’ll see plenty of Pedro/Jeffren on the left because Iniesta will be needed in the middle to platoon with Xavi or partner him up.

    This is when the EE’s depth should in theory show up. Espanyol should, despite their opener upset, be much better than last year so hopefully they don’t bow down to their masters and give them a good game. Their Argentine CB stable is actually good. Nico Parejo is one guy that I can’t understand why he is not starting for the NT over Heinze. He was excellent in the Olympics and impressed the hell out of me. Forlin and Roncaglia are Boca Juniors loaners who are athletic as hell and talented enough to take another step up in a few years. Hopefully the little Buddha is good to go against them.

    1. Holy #@#$#!! I had no idea you were a Michigan fan, Hector. This makes your reviews 1000000 times better (at least in my mind). I attended UM until last spring.

  22. Does anybody know a high quality stream where i can watch the game. Those ******** at Sky decided not to show the game. Apparently cricket is more important?!?!

  23. I know internationals just wrapped up for now, but I think it’s too early in the season to talk about exhaustion. This goes for Xavi and Messi in particular. These players just got off their vacations.

  24. I’ve just realised that the Barca game tonight isn’t going to be shown on Sky in the UK. What’s going on? Sevilla vs Zaragosa ???? Can’t remember the last time that happened. Just sent a stinging email to Sky – I’d urge anyone else in the UK to do the same.

  25. Either I’m having a senior moment or there’s a glitch somewhere. I just hit submit for my previous comment and it told me I’d already said that. I could do with that facility in my conversations in real life 🙂

  26. Jim, be happy!

    Sky Germany doesn’t show any La Liga match at all, and believe me, they have already received tons of eMails, but it didn’t make any difference 🙁

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