Getafe (7th, 25pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 37pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2018-19 La Liga, Matchday 18
Barcelona Outs and Doubts: Munir, Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Samper, Thomas Vermaelen, Rafinha
Getafe Outs and Doubts: Markel Bergara, Amath Ndiaye, Gaku Shibasaki (out)
Date/Time: Sunday, January 6, 2019, 8.45pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 7.45pm GMT (UK), 2.45pm ET, 11.45am PT (USA), 1.15am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Madrid, Spain
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), Eleven Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), others
How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), others
Hello, 2019!!! I hope you are a very successful year, and because I am a crazy person who likes my team more than myself I hope that Barça win everything, even if things don’t go that well for me. Yeah, I said it. Anyway, the Blaugrana are back in action after a two-week break with what promises to be a difficult league trip away to Getafe in Madrid.
Barça finished 2018 on a four-game winning streak in La Liga with four straight clean sheets and a couple of spectacular performances in the month of December, giving fans some good expectations for the second half of the season. Lionel Messi is having a ridiculous season, the midfield is playing well again, and the defense finally looks okay.
There is more depth now that Jeison Murillo has been signed and both Sergi Roberto and Malcom are back from injury. January and February is insanely busy in Spain with La Liga and Copa del Rey running together. Barça will play every three days, and they’ll need the whole squad. Against Getafe, however, they can afford to play their strongest team. After all, their opponents are fighting for Europe and have the second best defense in the entire league.
This will be really tough, and we’ll have to hope that the two weeks off didn’t hurt the team’s momentum. If they get a good win at Getafe, then the two weeks were simply a well-timed rest. We’ll find out.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Rakitic; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé
Getafe (4-4-2): David Soria; Suárez, Dakonam, Cabrera, Antunes; Foulquier, Maksimovic, Arambarri, Samu Sáiz; Jaime Mata, Molina
Because Getafe have such a good defense, it’s reasonable to expect a low-scoring game here. But I still believe Barça will play better and win on the road: 2-0 to the leaders.