Getafe CF (16th, 30pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 72pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2022-23 La Liga, Matchday 29
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Frenkie De Jong, Pedri, Andreas Christensen, Ousmane Dembélé (out)
Getafe Outs & Doubts: Mauro Arambarri, Jaime Mata (doubt)
Date/Time: Sunday, April 16, 2023, 4.15pm CET (Barcelona), 3.15pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 10.15am ET, 7.15pm PT (USA), 8.45pm IST (India)
Venue: Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Getafe, Madrid, Spain
Referee: Juan Luis Pulido Santana
VAR: Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
How to watch on TV: ESPN Deportes (USA), SuperSport (Nigeria), Sports18 (India), Viaplay Sports 2 (UK), Not Available (Canada, Spain), others
How to watch online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK), DAZN (Spain), others
Following a disappointing performance and a goalless draw at home against Girona on Monday, Barcelona return to action in La Liga as they continue their march to the title with a trip to the capital to face Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez on Sunday afternoon.
Despite the draw in a very poor game at the Greatest Stadium on Earth earlier this week, the Blaugrana increased their lead to 13 points (which has momentarily been cut to 10) and remain on course for their first league championship in four years. They need six wins to mathematically win the title regardless of what Real Madrid do, but the title could come sooner, perhaps within the next month, if Los Blancos drop points along the way.
But for that to happen Barça must do their homework in what is a very manageable schedule in the final 10 games of the season. The toughest games are all at home, and most of the road trips are against teams either in the middle of the table or fighting relegation with a considerable gap in talent.
Barça will win La Liga, but the trophy should not be the only priority. The Catalans have to earn it, playing well and showing signs that next season will be more consistent and with much better football that a large portion of this one.
The month of January was the highlight of this campaign with some amazing performances against top teams that showed a lot of potential for this side, but key injuries and two awful Cup eliminations once again made it clear there is plenty of work to be done.
The key injured starters will be back within the next two weeks, so the level of ability will naturally improve. Barça must finish the season strong, with performances and victories that show hunger, desire and quality football both as individuals and as a team.
Starting with a tough Getafe team on Sunday, the Catalans cannot come out with the same lazy attitude that they showed against Girona. Don’t let their position in the table fool you: just like Girona, Getafe have plenty of young talent and are not afraid to press high, be intense and physical and can create a lot of trouble with their counter attacks and set pieces.
They’ve been a thorn in Barça’s side for several seasons now, and are very tough to beat at home where the crowd is close to the pitch and very loud. This will be a very difficult test, but even without De Jong, Pedri, Christensen and Dembélé the Blaugrana have more than enough to play better football and win convincingly.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Eric, Balde; Roberto, Busquets, Gavi; Ferran, Lewandowski, Fati
Getafe (3-5-2): Soria; Djené, Mitrovic, Duarte; Amavi, Maksimovic, Algobia, Aleñá, Munir; Ünal, Mayoral
Regardless of their coach or position in the table, Getafe away is always a tough test year after year. But I expect Barça to come out with more urgency and intensity than they did on Monday and get a solid win on the road to restore the good vibes: 3-1 to the good guys.