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Three things Barcelona need to do against Getafe

A closer look at Sunday’s match

Barcelona v Getafe - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Table toppers Barcelona kick-off the new year with an away fixture against Getafe who sit in seventh. The home side are in good form, being unbeaten in six games across all domestic competitions. Barcelona have a good track record against their opponents, who are also Ernesto Valverde’s favourite adversary as a manager (he’s won 13 out of 17 matches faced) making it a pretty winnable fixture for the Blaugranes. Here are three things Barcelona need to do to win against Getafe:

Take advantage of Getafe’s poor ball retention

FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

This fixture pits the side with the maximum average possession (Barcelona, 61.2%) against the side with the least (Getafe, 42.2%). Getafe’s play is riddled with errors primarily in passing and ball retention. They have also recorded a potentially disturbing stat: with 64.6% passing accuracy, they are the side with the least recorded pass success percentage. For a side like Barcelona who crave possession and barely make a passing error, Getafe can be the ultimate prey. But here’s the thing: low possession doesn’t make Getafe a weak team (they have a positive goal difference with just 13 goals conceded) so waiting for them to choke due to excess pressure won’t seal the deal. Barcelona should look to convert more chances and pass with more purpose. Arthur should be given the nod to start due to his impressive ball retention and pressure absorption capabilities, along with Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic.

Be aware of Getafe’s defensive solidarity at home

Barcelona v Getafe - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Getafe have a rigid old school defence which frequently employs the offside trap. Due to a consistent XI, the formidable pair of Djene Dakonam and Cabrera has been in great form, and the Getafe center-backs have been a wall when it came to home games (with the former being linked to the Blaugranes in recent history). Talking about their home form, they have conceded just four goals in eight fixtures but have lost three times to Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Levante and picked up red cards in those games. Barcelona must aim to create as many chances as possible and make the most of their possession. Also, Getafe have conceded around half of their goals via set pieces which gives the likes of Lionel Messi the opportunity to slot in world class bangers.

Take confidence from their past record

Getafe v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Barcelona have won nine games at the Alfonso Perez in La Liga, more than any other Getafe opponent ever. Also, Getafe have failed to win in the last 11 fixtures against the Blaugranes (D3 L8), with the latter team securing a clean sheet in five of the last six games. But perhaps the biggest eye opener is the fact that they have claimed La Liga in eight of the nine seasons they won at Alfonso Perez, with only the 2013-14 season not fitting into the pattern (stat from FOTMOB). This speaks volumes about the past records and the historic importance of a win for the Blaugranes against a competitive side. Overall, the match provides a great path to start things off with a bang and a win would be the perfect way to kick off 2019.

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