Barça pile on the pressure
Stuttering Barcelona welcome a Getafe side sitting pretty just one place behind the hosts in third place this Saturday. Jose Bordalas’ men have once again been the surprise package in La Liga, for the second successive season, agonisingly falling away from the Champions League places in the final knockings of 2018/19. An experienced attacking contingent have been bang in form of late, helping the side to four consecutive victories, with veteran striker Jorge Molina, 37, grabbing a couple in a statement 3-0 win over Valencia (the side that pipped them to fourth place last term) last time out.
In addition to the emphatic run of four wins on the bounce, all of those performances have been accompanied by a clean sheet, suggesting they will be very tough to breakdown by Quique Setien’s possession drilled Catalonians. The third placed side are a significant seven points behind Barca but with a cool three-point cushion ahead of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla on 39 points.
A fairly defensive 4-4-2 formation has been the weapon of choice by Bordalas, with Allan Nyom and Marc Cucurella, specialist full backs deployed as wide midfielders. Togo international Djene Dakonam has been one of the mainstays in the centre of defence after his transfer from St. Truiden in 2017. Despite standing at 5ft 10in, Dakonam he is a pivotal physical presence at the back, winning five aerial duels at the weekend, blunting the usual productivity of Rodrigo Moreno and Maximiliano Gomez for the Mates.
Crucial comeback win
The one and only Lionel Messi registered a hattrick of assists as the champions recovered from going behind twice to win 3-2 away to Real Betis. A few unfamiliar faces grabbed the final touches in Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquetsand Clement Lenglet, Setien will be hoping the nature of the victory can shift the momentum of the title race. At one stage in that match, Real Madrid looked to be going six points clear at the top before the goals came.
A less glamourous strike force with more knowhow than a lot of their rivals, has played a key role in Getafe’s recent surge into the Champions Leaguespots. Rodriguez Angel, 32, and Jaime Mata, 31, have been the club’s most potent attackers thus far, with 21 goal involvements between them, Angel’s rotation for the Valencia match would have suggested he would start this one if it was not for Molina’s excellent brace.
The momentum built by the Betis triumph will be enough to stop Getafe’s run. With little value in laying Barca to win, add the handicap and if they win you cannot lose.
Barcelona – Getafe Betting Tip
Barcelona (-1) Handicap with 22bet at odds of 3/4.