Barcelona v Getafe – Camp Nou at 15:00 GMT
Barcelona kept their La Liga title defence alive with a 3-2 turnaround triumph at Real Betis last Sunday night. Quique Setien’s side picked up a valuable three points at the Estadio Benito Villamarin, as they re-established their three-point gap to La Liga leaders Real Madrid in a rollercoaster tie in Andalucia.
However, the Catalans continue to cough and splutter, whilst off-field wrangles threaten to derail any signs of potential progress as the campaign reaches the business end. Setien’s possession-driven approach feels slightly archaic and is already under pressure from disgruntled supporters demanding more.
The Blaugrana are devoid of leadership, stagnate in possession, and sustained only by the brilliance of Lionel Messi. The Catalans are squeezing through matches and are yet to succeed by more than a solitary goal margin under their new head coach – and that return is unlikely to improve this Saturday afternoon.
Without suspended key defender Clement Lenglet, Barcelona must welcome La Liga’s best-drilled and organised outfit Getafe as -1.5 Asian Handicap favourites. It’s a line that feels far too high for the current Catalans crop to overcome and so punters are advised to keep the underdogs onside at with the +1.5 goal start.
Getafe can stay competitive at the Camp Nou
Jose Bordalas’ boys are up in third after beating Valencia comfortably last weekend, the visitors boasting a centre forward that cost twice as much as Getafe’s entire starting XI. Nevertheless, two goals from Jorge Molina and one from Jaime Mata took Los Azulones to 42 points, securing La Liga survival.
But the Madrid minnows have far bigger fish to fry in 2019/20. After missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day of last season, El Geta are in prime position to go one better this time around. It would prove to be a remarkable feat considering Getafe boast the 12th biggest wage budget in La Liga.
Workaholic coach Bordalas has made Getafe one of the most streetwise sides in Europe and Los Azulones will be following the same path to success. They may not win many prizes for aesthetics, but they get through the miles and rarely give their opponents a moment’s rest through their sheer ferocity.
Getafe have been beaten just seven away days since the start of last season – five of those have come at Real Madrid, Atletico, Barcelona and Sevilla, suggesting they could come unstuck at the Camp Nou. But Bordalas’ boys are a remarkably resilient outfit and Los Azulones are capable of keeping the score down.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Getafe +1.50 at 1.730
Preview by: @MarkOHaire