Barcelona have been flying high in recent weeks and the Spanish Supercup champions will be aiming to make it six consecutive wins in all competitions when they welcome struggling Getafe at Camp Nou in Barcelona for the La Liga 2022/23 encounter on Sunday night.
The Catalan giants are on top of the league table and possess a three-point advantage over their arch-rivals Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Getafe are 15th in the league standings and only their better goal difference is standing between them and the dreaded relegation zone at the moment.
2023 has begun on a strong note for fans of FC Barcelona. After posting a scrappy 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in a game where they were made to toil hard for the three points, Barcelona were able to open up a three-point difference them and Real Madrid at the top of the league table.
Xavi’s side now reign supreme as league leaders and have collected 41 points. Out of the 16 games that they have played so far, Barcelona have won on 13 occasions and have lost just one game – to Real Madrid in the El Clasico at Santiago Bernabeu. They have scored 35 times – the second-highest behind Real Madrid (36) – while they have conceded just six, which is comfortably the best defensive record in the division.
Barcelona have not been in action in the league since their win over Atletico Madrid on January 8. In the meanwhile, they have gotten the better of Intercity and Cueta in the Copa del Rey. The Catalans will now face fellow top flight counterparts Real Sociedad in the quarter-finals of the competition at the Camp Nou next week.
More importantly, though, Xavi’s men have done immensely well in the recently held Supercopa de Espana held in Saudi Arabia. After requiring penalties to beat Real Betis in the semi-final, Barcelona handed out a footballing lesson to Real Madrid in the Clasico final. Gavi, Robert Lewandowski, and Pedri found the back of the net as Barcelona won 3-1 to win become Spanish Super Cup champions and win their first trophy since Xavi’s arrival as manager.
That Spanish Super Cup victory in Saudi Arabia was followed by a 5-0 thrashing of Cueta in the Copa del Rey this week where Lewandowski scored a brace and Raphinha, Ansu Fati, and Franck Kessie rounded off the scoresheet.
Xavi’s side will now switch their attention back to the league, finishing the month with matches against Getafe and Girona, and it is set to be a busy few weeks for the club, as they have the small matter of a two-legged Europa League knockout round playoff with Manchester United in February.
While there is still a lot of football to be played in the remainder of the season, Barcelona have found a groove and are doing quite well. Their demotion from the Champions League to the Europa League may have been a major disappointment but a strong run in the Europa League followed by a potential La Liga victory this season could be an incredible return and a firm testament to Xavi’s project. It could pave the path for further progress as the club tries to bounce back from the economic turmoil they face off the pitch.
Barcelona recorded a 2-1 victory over Getafe in the corresponding game last season, but the points were shared in a goalless draw when they last met in May.
While Barcelona are currently on a five-match winning streak, Getafe are arriving into this clash at Camp Nou on the back of three successive defeats in all competitions. Their last two appearances in the Spanish top flight have also ended in dejection as they lost to Sevilla and Espanyol and both games finished 2-1 in favour of the opposition.
That was far from the only disappointment that they have faced in recent weeks. Quique Sanchez Flores’ men were also eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Levante towards the beginning of January. However, the league has been a priority for them this season but Getafe are hurtling dangerously close to disaster as things stand.
They are on 17 points after 17 matches and are level with Celta Vigo and Real Valladolid, with the latter occupying a spot in the drop zone. Therefore, the side from Madrid are only separated from the relegation zone by their goal difference but they cannot entirely depend on them to bail them out as they prepare for the trip against a formidable and in-form Barcelona side.
There are only four points between 12th-placed Valencia and Cadiz in 19th, which is an indication of how quickly things could change with a couple of poor results. Getafe will abhor the idea of getting relegated to the Segunda division. The Deep Blue Ones are in their sixth straight season at this level of football, finishing eighth, fifth and eighth between 2018 and 2020, but they have been 15th in their last two campaigns.
Getafe have picked up eight points from their eight away league matches this term, but they will be travelling to a Barcelona side with the best home record in Spain’s top flight, boasting 20 points from eight matches.
FCB vs GEF, La Liga 2022/23
Date: 22nd January, 2023
Time: 11:00 PM IST
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona
Barcelona La Liga form:
Barcelona form (all competitions):
Getafe La Liga form:
Getafe form (all competitions):
Barcelona wins: 22
Getafe wins: 3
Barcelona Team News:
For Barcelona, the big news is that they will continue to miss the services of forwards Robert Lewandowski and Ferran Torres due to suspensions this weekend. Lewandowski has two more games left before he can return to the pitch while Ferran Torres was handed a straight red after getting involved in an off-the-ball wrestling contest with Atletico Madrid’s Stefan Savic in the last match.
Both Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong were taken off early in the final against Real Madrid and were also rested against Cueta in the Copa del Rey. Xavi has maintained that they are both fit and ready to return to action but he will continue to be cautious in order to avoid any chances of injuries.
Changes are expected in bulk compared to the starting XI that took on Cueta this mid-week. Ansu Fati could be given the nod through the middle due to the absence of Lewandowski, with Ousmane Dembele and Gavi playing in the positions either side of him.
It is expected to be the same back four that started against Atletico Madrid, with either Araujo or Jules Kounde featuring as the right-back for the home side and the other one partnering Andreas Christensen at the centre-back slot.
Getafe Team News:
Meanwhile, for Getafe, the participation of Mauro Arambarri remains a major doubt, but the visitors are otherwise in strong shape as they prepare to take on the league leaders.
Head coach Flores is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack following the home defeat to Espanyol last weekend.
As a result, we may end up seeing largely the same XI that took to the field for the first whistle against Diego Martinez’s side, although Juan Iglesias could replace Damian Suarez as the right-sided wing-back.
Enes Unal is the team’s leading goalscorer in the league this season with five, and the 25-year-old will again feature in the final third of the field.
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Araujo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde; F de Jong, Gavi, Pedri; Dembele, Fati, Gavi
Getafe possible starting lineup:
Soria; Iglesias, Dakonam, Duarte, Alderete, Portu; Alena, Milla, Algobia; Mayoral, Unal
Barcelona are on a great roll of form at the moment and the side is bustling with confidence. They are in a great space following their first silverware victory this season and have also done well to reach the quarter-finals of the Copa Del Rey. Given that Real Madrid face a tough test against Athletic Bilbao later in the night, Barcelona will be keen on picking up all three points against their city rivals Getafe and increasing the pressure on Los Blancos.
Considering the kind of form that they have been in, it will be hard to bet on anything except Barcelona securing all three points with a dominant performance against Getafe.