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Previewing this weekend’s La Liga action



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Average bookie probabilities, Getafe vs. FC Barcelona: 13 / 23 / 64

The focus is back on the league for the next 3 games. The first of these are against Getafe, who has made it their speciality to get points against the big teams. Getafe are currently 14th in the league just 4 points shy of the relegation zone. Last week, however, they took a big victory as they won 1-0 away against Sevilla. And that’s not the only great result they’ve produced this season. They drew 1-1 at the Camp Nou and they won 3-1 at home against Real Madrid.

Last year they won at the Bernabeu and two seasons ago, they knocked out Barca in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey after a 4-0 victory at home. All this points in one direction: Getafe plays their best when they play the best.

As mentioned, Getafe got a point in the first encounter at the Camp Nou. That is not the whole story, however, as they were close to getting all three. They played Barca in their best period. In the last 3 home games before the Getafe game, Barca had won 6-1, 5-0 and 6-0 against Atletico Madrid, Almeria and Malaga respectively. In other words – Barca were steamrolling everybody. Unfortunately, Getafe was able to stop the Barca machine and they were leading until Keita equalized in the 71st minute saving one point for the Blaugrana.

For the game in Madrid, Guardiola is expected to make heavy rotations and we won’t try to predict the starting line-up as we did for the match against Bayern, as the line-up is pretty much a toss-up. Barca are playing 6, yes six, extremely important games in 18 days that will probably decide the league and the Champions League following the game against Getafe. For these games we will need everybody to be rested and alert and even though Getafe is a good team they just aren’t as good as the other teams Barca is going to play so it’ll be one of the few games, where the likes of Messi can get a rest.

The game kicks off at 8 PM local time on Saturday.

Real Madrid will have to travel to Huelva, who put up a good fight last weekend at the Camp Nou. Madrid’s plan is to keep winning until they play Barca and they want to take another step against Recreativo. In the first encounter in the league Real won 1-0. The game kicks off at 10 PM local time so by midnight we will know if Barca was given a helping hand.

Our cross town rivals from Espanyol welcomes Racing Santander at home on Sunday at 5 PM. Espanyol are 7 points below 17th placed Sporting Gijon so they desperately need a win. Santander are currently in 10th with 36 points. In their first encounter of the season Santander easily beat Espanyol 3-0.

Sunday at 7 PM the Spanish have prepared a real treat for us. Valencia and Sevilla kick off their Mount Everest schedule as Valencia welcomes Sevilla at Mestella. Valencia need in order to cling on their 4th place giving Champions League qualification giving spot, while Seville will all but secure their 3rd place spot with a draw or better.

Steffen Risager is the editor of www.elbarca.net

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I’m a 23 year old Danish FC Barcelona fan who fell in love with the club when Michael Laudrup was orchestrating the Dream Team in the early 90’s. I remember the exact game that made me a Blaugrana. My parents were visiting some of their friends and brought me along as they had some kids I could play with. When dusk turned to dawn we turned on their black and white TV and watched Barca win an epic 5-0 victory against Real Madrid. I remember the atmosphere, I remember the fantastic play and I remember thinking: “This is special – this is epic,” although it took me many years to grasp and fully understand what I had just witnessed – I just knew it was magic.