El Getafe / PHOTO: lfp.es

Barça already have an idea what to expect from Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez on Saturday. The Madrid-based side are typically combative and are enjoying a good run of form. Four points from three matches so far in the 2012/13 season may not look like much, but they have done that after visiting two tough away grounds and beating none other than Real Madrid in game two. Their season started with 2-1 defeat at Sevilla, while in their third match, they managed a draw with Deportivo at Riazor. The fixture list has not got off to the kindest starts for Getafe, because next up they’ve got the Liga leaders!

New look squad

Luis García’s project is into its second year, and his plans have been boosted by the arrival of no fewer than ten new players. In goal they have an experienced stopper in Miquel Àngel Moyà; centre back Alexis returns to the Alfonso Pérez with the benefit of the experience gained at Sevilla. The much-changed midfield now includes Lafita, Abraham, Borja Fernández and former Barça man Xavi Torres as one of the central playmakers. Up front, they have promising 21 year old striker Álvaro Vàzquez, signed from Espanyol, and another young hope for the future in Paco Alcácer, who arrives from Valencia and has already been impressing in Spain’s national youth teams. Adrián Colunga has also returned to Getafe after a loan period at Sporting Gijón.

Players that have headed in the opposite direction include Miku, who has gone out on loan to Glasgow Celtic, who’ll be playing FC Barcelona in the Champions League.

Strong in the air

Getafe have always been a typically physical side, and this year is no exception, with a set of players that also combine youth and experience to perfection. With an average height of 178cm, there is clearly plenty of potential for aerial play, and in fact two of the four goals scored by the side this season have come from defenders, Alexis and Valera, at set pieces. The other two goals were the work of midfielder Barrada.

Packing the midfield

Tactically, Getafe is a team that so far this season seems to be opting for a 4-5-1 system, one they are unlikely to change against a Barça team that likes to hold on to the ball so much. That means Barça will need to find a way to counter a corpulent side on one of the smallest pitches in the competition if they want to avoid a repeat of last season’s shock defeat at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.

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