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Match Previews

Getafe vs Barcelona: Match Preview

Hariharan Balaji

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Image

The international break is finally over, and Barça is back in action. The string of testing fixtures to start the campaign continues as the Catalans travel to the Coliseum now. Ronald Koeman’s side faces a tough away trip against José Bordalás’ team. Here’s the preview of the match between Getafe and Barcelona. 


Date and kick-off time: Saturday 17 October 2020, 21:00 CET

Stadium: Coliseum Alfonso Pérez

Competition: La Liga, matchday 6

Referee: Cesar Soto Grado


Overview

The new La Liga campaign got off to an exciting start before the international break. Despite last season’s woes, Barça started their campaign with two thumping wins and got a well-deserved draw against a formidable Sevilla side. While the first two games saw a free-scoring Barcelona, the third game against a well-drilled Sevilla showed a few cracks and deficiencies of the new system. 

Now, the Catalans face yet another stern test in the form of Getafe. The Madrid based side have been one of the most consistent teams in the league since gaining promotion a few seasons ago. They have, however, had a mixed start to the season, winning twice, drawing once and losing once in the four games they have played.

While the Blaugranas have crunch fixtures lined up one after the other in a tight schedule, the Azulones have had ample time between matches. Getafe also have all their players fit with the international break helping them to get back to match fitness. Whereas for Barcelona, the injury list remains long with Jordi Alba out for some time. 

Both the sides are on the same points with Barça having played a game less. With no pressure of fixture congestion from European games, Getafe can consistently play their best eleven every matchday. The Catalans, on the other hand, will be averaging a game every four days and resting the players is a necessity. Many first team starters have played more than 180 minutes for their National team and rotations seem more than inevitable at this point. 

What to expect from Getafe?

José Bordalás has been a revelation at Getafe. Since getting promoted, they have consistently finished in the top ten, close to or in the European spot. The Spaniard won the Miguel Muñoz Trophy for the best manager in the 2018-19 season helping Getafe finish fifth, their best position in history. Bordalás has managed almost a dozen teams over the last three decades in and around the Spanish leagues. With each passing year, his ideology becomes clearer. 

Getafe, under Bordalás, have almost always been set up in a solid 4-4-2. The Madrid outfit is known to have extreme energy levels, pressing relentlessly. The physicality and aggression of the team are unmatched. Their strengths lie without the ball as they maintain an excellent shape obstructing the opposition attack. Once they get the ball, they instantly start their counter-attack by pinging long balls to the wings or to their quick forwards. 

“Getafe have been doing a lot of positive things over the past few seasons. They are a winning team, and they have reached Europe which is a fantastic achievement.”

Ronald Koeman

Most of their attacks come via transitions and crosses from the wings. Understandably they are less efficient with the ball, and they prefer to let the opposition have it, trying to cover all empty gaps on the pitch.

Getafe are not missing any players due to injury or suspension and might field their best eleven. Former Barça player Marc Cucurella will start on the left side of the midfield four for Getafe with the dynamic Allan Nyom on the other side. Cucho Hernandez and Jaime Mata should start up front, with Angel Rodriguez likely to come off the bench like in the previous game between the two. The backline for the hosts will remain the same, with Djene, Xabier Etxeita retaining their place in the heart of the defence, and Mathias Olivera and Damian Suarez providing width from the back.

What to expect from Barcelona?

Ronald Koeman has clear ideas and a specific system in mind, and he is trying to implement it to its full capabilities. From the first few games, the fans have got an idea about the players who are in the eleven and first subs plan of the Dutchman. Although the defence is stretched thin, Koeman is not afraid to make attacking substitutions. While his system of 4-2-3-1 works against teams who try to press and not stay in their own half, it has its own flaws. 

Against Sevilla, Barcelona struggled to get the ball out while playing from the back. Julen Lopetegui’s side pressed Barça very high, marking both the CDMs leaving little passing options for Neto and the centre-backs. Sevilla took advantage of this and created many chances only for them to miss the final pass or fluff the shot. Against similarly high energy, high pressing team, Barça must be careful not to get caught playing from the back. 

One other issue with the system is the lack of numbers in the midfield. With four attackers and the full-backs up the pitch, only two midfielders remain trying to sweep off the loose balls and preventing counters. Sergio Busquets is still adjusting to the role of double-pivot, and the understanding between him and Frenkie de Jong has not been up to the mark.

Looking on the bright side, Sergiño Dest could make his first start for Barça on the left side of defence. Despite Junior Firpo getting the green light, the American could make the eleven as the Spaniard is yet to acquire complete match fitness. Ansu Fati could be rested considering the fixtures coming up with Ousmane Dembélé likely to get a start for the first time under Ronald Koeman. 


Form

Getafe CF

Previous games: LWDW

Real Sociedad 3–0 Getafe | La Liga
Getafe 3–0 Real Betis| La Liga
Deportivo Alaves 0–0 Getafe | La Liga
Getafe 1–0 Osasuna | La Liga

Position in La Liga

7th
7 points in 4 games
2 win, 1 draw and 1 loss
4 Goals Scored, 3 Goal Conceded
+1 Goal Difference

FC Barcelona

Previous games: DWWWW

Barcelona 1–1 Sevilla | La Liga
Celta Vigo 0–3 Barcelona | La Liga
Barcelona 4–0 Villarreal | La Liga
Barcelona 1–0 Elche | Joan Gamper Trophy
Barcelona 3–1 Girona | Club Friendly

Position in La Liga

5th
7 points in 3 games
2 wins, 1 draw and 0 losses
8 Goals Scored, 1 Goals Conceded
+7 Goal Difference

Head-to-head record

Last 5 meetings

Barcelona 2–1 Getafe | La Liga, 19/20
Getafe 0–2 Barcelona | La Liga, 19/20
Barcelona 2–0 Getafe | La Liga, 18/19
Getafe 1–2 Barcelona | La Liga, 18/19
Barcelona 0–0 Getafe | La Liga, 17/18


Match facts

• Barcelona are undefeated in their last 17 matches against Getafe in all competitions.

• The Blaugrana’s last loss at the Coliseum came nine years ago.

• Barcelona have won their last 4 away matches (LaLiga).

• Getafe have failed to score in 5 of their last 7 matches (LaLiga).


Team news and possible line-ups

Getafe CF

Absences

Injured: None
Suspended: None

Possible line-up

4–4–2
Soria
Suárez · Dakonam · Etxeita · Olivera
Nyom · Maksimovic· Arambarri · Cucurella
Mata · Cucho
Coach: José Bordalás

“Koeman is using the 4-2-3-1 formation and there’re other aspects that have changed. Barça continue to have great individuals and now are a more vertical, dynamic and doubly dangerous team.

José Bordalás

FC Barcelona

Absences

Injured: Samuel Umtiti (knee), Marc-André ter Stegen (Tendon), Jordi Alba (Hamstring)
Suspended: 

Possible line-up

4–2–3–1
Neto
Roberto · Piqué · Ronald Araújo · Dest
Frenkie de Jong · Busquets
Coutinho
Griezmann · Messi · Dembélé 
Coach: Ronald Koeman


Predictions

Barcelona’s congested fixture list for the month starts with Getafe away. Despite having never lost a game there in nearly a decade, Bordalás’s side is not to be taken lightly. The match will provide additional context on how the Blaugrana attack thrives against a low block and a physically brutal side. Ronald Koeman would want to start the week with a win in preparation for the El Clasico the next weekend. José Bordalás, on the other hand, would love for his defence to face one of the best attacks in the league and remain unscathed. 

Barça Universal Prediction: 1-3 win for the Catalans. 

I got into watching football for the emotions of it. A goal followed by a crazy celebration from the player gave me goosebumps. But, watching the beautiful game over the years, I realised it was much more than just goals. The passing, the movements, the positioning and the effort involved behind the scenes opened my eyes to what football was. I keep trying to learn more about this incredible game and pass on what I learnt with a tinge of passion attached to it.

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Match Previews

Barcelona vs Ferencváros: Match Preview

Hariharan Balaji

Published

on

Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Just three days after the gruelling game away at Getafe, Barça are back in action again. Champions League starts once again, as the Catalans prepare for their first home game of the campaign. Here’s the preview of the match between Barcelona and Ferencváros. 


Date and kick-off time: Tuesday 20 October 2020, 21:00 CET

Stadium: Camp Nou

Competition: UEFA Champions League, Group Stage, Matchday 1

Referee: Sandro Schärer


Overview

The Champions League is back. The grandest of stages of club football is returning once again, barely two months after last season’s final. The group stages of the UEFA Champions League start this week with Barcelona in the group G. The first matchday sees Barça host Ferencváros in the Camp Nou, with Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv to follow in the coming weeks. 

The competition has not been kind to Barcelona lately with disappointments reigning over happiness in the last four seasons. But, with a new coach, new players, and a new season, anything can change. The players can approach the new campaign with a fresh mindset without the pressure of being overwhelming favourites

“We’re not the best favourites to win the Champions League, but we can go far.”

Ronald Koeman (pre-match press conference)

The visitors are playing their first official game against Barcelona in their history. The Hungarians are back in the Champions League after a few stints in the Europa League. They have reached here after playing the qualifications and the playoffs and have accustomed to the competition. Nonetheless, they are the underdogs of Group G, and a positive result on the first matchday would send a statement to the other teams. 

The hosts are understandably the favourites in the matchup, and the fans would expect a statement victory here to win them over. The hosts come from a defeat on the weekend, while the visitors remain unbeaten in their league. The Champions League can spring surprises out of nowhere, and the weekend of surprises could extend for the sake of the visitors. 

What to expect from Barcelona?

Barça have played four official games this season coming into this game. While the first two displayed the strengths of the team, the latter two revealed the weaknesses of the new system and the players. Ronald Koeman has stuck with his 4-2-3-1 for all the games, and a lack of plan B is appalling. In the last two games, where the team struggled to break down blocks or navigate press, Koeman has just thrown in attacking players as subs

While the attacking quality and technical proficiency are omnipresent, the lack of understanding between the players is concerning. However, the season is just getting started, and it would get better over the course of the season. The squad is arguably better and younger than previous seasons despite a few deficiencies in certain areas. 

The squad list will mostly remain the same as the last game with none of the injured players expected to return. With Real Madrid game on the weekend, a little rotation is likely from Ronald Koeman. Most of the players have travelled and played a lot during the international break, and this game could be a chance to rest them. Irrespective of the eleven in place, the prime objective would be to win the game with a good performance setting up for the next games. 

What to expect from Ferencváros?

The Hungarian Champions play Barcelona for the first time in an official game despite getting found on the same year as Barcelona(1899). Over the years, they have played multiple friendlies against Barça with the last one happening 43 years ago. From a statistical point of view, the Catalans are unbeaten over the six games that happened over the course of more than 50 years. 

The Zöld Sasok were one of the best teams in the country’s history during the mid 20th century. Hungary was the epitome of football during the era where they were better than any other country on the planet despite the lack of laurels. Ferencváros was Barça legend László Kubala’s home before he came to Spain as a refugee. He even returned to the Catalan club in a later stint as a coach. 

Ferencváros have a settled eleven that they have used over the season. They have primarily used 4-2-3-1, the same as Barça. With two league victories in the last two years, they have secured a spot in the UCL after 25 years. With nine goals in the five qualifying games, they have an able attack to challenge big teams on the counter. Tokmac Chol Nguen is their top scorer this season and can be a potential goal threat cutting in from the left. 

Coming into the game as obvious underdogs, they have a chance to spring a surprise with no expectations from their side. In recent years, Barça have struggled against the underdogs to some extent in the group stages. 


Form

FC Barcelona

Previous games: LDWWW

Getafe 1–0 Barcelona | La Liga
Barcelona 1–1 Sevilla | La Liga
Celta Vigo 0–3 Barcelona | La Liga
Barcelona 4–0 Villarreal | La Liga
Barcelona 1–0 Elche | Joan Gamper Trophy

Position in La Liga

9th
7 points in 4 games
2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss
8 Goals Scored, 2 Goals Conceded
+6 Goal Difference

“We’ve played four games and we’ve scored eight goals, I don’t know if there is any team who does better. I’m not worried about scoring goals, we have enough quality. The last two games we’ve also played against teams that defend very well.”

Ronald Koeman (pre-match press conference)

Ferencváros TC

Previous games: WWDDW

Kisvarda 0–2 Ferencváros | Nemzeti Bajnokság
Ferencváros 2–1 Puskas Akademia| Nemzeti Bajnokság
Ferencváros 0–0 Molde | Nemzeti Bajnokság
Molde 3–3 Ferencváros | Nemzeti Bajnokság
Rackeve 1–6 Ferencváros | Magyur Kupa

Position in Nemzeti Bajnokság

1st
13 points in 5 games
4 win, 1 draw and 0 losses
12 Goals Scored, 3 Goal Conceded
+9 Goal Difference

Head-to-head record

Last 5 meetings

Barcelona 3–0 Ferencváros | Friendly
Barcelona 2–2 Ferencváros | Friendly
Barcelona 3–3 Ferencváros | Friendly
Barcelona 4–0 Ferencváros | Friendly
Barcelona 2–0 Ferencváros | Friendly


Match facts

• Barcelona are undefeated in their last 5 matches against Ferencváros.

• The last game between the two teams happened 43 years ago.

• Ferencváros are undefeated in 12 of their last 13 matches (Champions League).


Team news and possible line-ups

FC Barcelona

Absences

Injured: Samuel Umtiti (knee), Marc-André ter Stegen (Tendon), Jordi Alba (Hamstring)
Suspended: 

Possible line-up

4–2–3–1
Neto
Roberto · Ronald Araújo · Lenglet · Dest
Frenkie de Jong · Pjanić 
Coutinho
Dembélé · Griezmann · Fati
Coach: Ronald Koeman

Ferencváros TC

Absences

Injured: None
Suspended: None

Possible line-up

4–2–31
Dibusz
Lovrencsics · Blazic · Kovacevic · Heister
Somalia · Kharatin·
Isael · Siger · Nguen
Boli
Coach: Serhiy Rebrov


Predictions

The first Champions League game of the season for Barcelona is with possibly the most comfortable opponent they could have had. Even with heavy rotations, winning this game should be a cake-walk. However, anything can happen on UCL nights. 

Barça Universal prediction: 4-0 win for the Catalans. 

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