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Newly-promoted Getafe face one of their toughest assignments of the season against the unbeaten league leaders. Barça have yet to concede a goal and Ernesto Valverde’s side will want to continue their good form in the Madrid suburb at 4.15pm CET on Saturday.
You have to go back to 2011 to find Getafe’s last home victory over the Blaugrana, a feat they’ve only managed twice this century, the other win coming in 2007.
Ernesto Valverde has announced the same squad as the one he announced for the game against Juventus. The complete list is as follows: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Mascherano, Paulinho, Deulofeu, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes and Umtiti. Paco Alcácer, Digne, Aleix Vidal, Vermaelen with Rafinha have been left out and Arda Turan also missing as they continue to recover from their respective injuries.
Though Getafe have an almost full-strength squad available, they are still without Montero, Gorosito and Pacheco because of injury. There’s been little change in terms of personnel or formation so far this season from José Bordalás, but the Getafe coach did indicate during his Friday press conference that he will begin rotating his staff, starting with this match.
Noting Getafe’s strength’s, Ernesto Valverde said of Barça’s opponents that “Getafe are dangerous on set plays and it’ll be tough. We’re short on rest so there will likely be changes. The team is more than 11 [players].” One of those players is new signing, Ousmane Dembélé, whom the coach is willing to take time with. “Dembélé is continually improving. He needs some time to adapt to the team and his teammates,” Valverde explained.
José Bordalás is under no illusions as to the task facing his team, but far from approaching the game with caution, he and his players are looking forward to the challenge. “FC Barcelona is a team with ambitious goals, who’ve won every game and are in good shape. The supporters are very excited and are aware that we are going to give everything. We have respect for Barça, but never fear and the players are all very motivated.”
Barça have won all three of their matches in La Liga in 2017/18 and currently top the table on nine points. With nine goals scored and none conceded, they have the best goal difference of all 20 teams.
With a win, a draw and a loss in their three league fixtures, Getafe have had a reasonable start to life back in the Spanish top flight. Though they’ve only scored two, they’ve kept it tight at the back and let in the same amount.
The Azulones haven’t scored against Barça in their last four fixtures home or away, and have only managed three victories against them (in all competitions) in front of their own supporters since the turn of the century.
In the last 28 games, stretching back to 2004, the Blaugrana have been kept scoreless on just five occasions and have won 20, lost three and drawn five. At the Coliseum, Barça have taken all three points on six of the last eight visits scoring 17 and conceding five during that time.
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