Venue: Camp Nou
Date: Sunday, 10th February
Barcelona’s only concern is Xavi, who is out with an ankle injury, and has been for the past four games – though Barca haven’t felt his absence particularly, remaining undefeated in all four. They will have Lionel Messi available up front, and no doubt buoyed by his new contract, which will keep him at Barcelona until he is at least 31.
Thiago is likely to take Xavi’s place.
Getafe manager Luis Garcia Plaza will be without defenders Rafa and Juan Varela due to injury as well as goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya, who is suspended after being sent off last week against Deportivo. Deputy Codina is assured to take his spot.
Barcelona and Madrid face off once again this morning as Tito Vilanova’s men welcome Getafe to the Nou Camp after they beat Deportivo last week. Barcelona themselves will be looking for a victory after they could only draw with Valencia last week, in order to maintain their dominance at the top of the table.
The game comes with an unfamiliar kick-off time, which Barcelona will hope doesn’t negatively impact on the team’s performance, considering the amount of players who have been away this week on international duty. But Barcelona assistant Jordi Roura insists the team will be ready:
“The time is special but we will try and go out there with the maximum intensity and get stuck into the game so that these factors don’t affect us. One or two players may be tired but in four days you can recover quickly. We’ll see how everyone is and then decide the starting eleven.”
According to Roura, Tito Vilanova continues to be fully involved in running the team, despite his absence due to ongoing cancer treatment in New York, and makes his presence felt, as Roura told the club’s official website:
“We’ve been in permanent contact with him all the time thanks to new technologies. He’s more active than ever, he’s feeling really well. Tito has access to all the matches and the reports, and that allows us to talk about it all. There’s only a slight difference even though he’s not here.”
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Adriano, Thiago, Busquests, Fabregas, Sanchez, Messi, Villa
Getafe: Codina, M. Torres, Lopo, Escudero, Alexis, Borja, X. Torres, Leon, Barrada, Gavilan, Colunga
Source: Sky Sports.
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This article was first posted on February 10, 2013