Barcelona head into this game full of confidence after beating Real Madrid last time out
Getafe are in danger of being dragged into a battle against relegation this season
Barcelona can strengthen their La Liga title challenge with another victory this weekend
The odds for Barcelona vs Getafe are brought to you by the FanDuel sportsbook, which is giving out $150 in free bets after you bet $5.
Getafe could be in for a tough game against Xavi Hernandez’s in-form side.
Back Barcelona to win both halves on Sunday. (+138)
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When the Champions League resumes next month, Barcelona will not be taking part. For the second season on the bounce, they were eliminated in the group phase of the competition before Christmas. As such, they will face Manchester United in the Europa League in February.
The situation looks much brighter domestically. Barcelona are top of La Liga heading into this weekend. Their lead stands at just three points and Real Madrid will still be reasonably confident of overhauling Xavi’s side. But Barcelona have done well to overtake the reigning champions in recent gameweeks.
Their confidence was further boosted last weekend when the Blaugrana beat Madrid in the first Clasico of 2023. The win came in the final of the Supercopa de Espana, a tournament that is not particularly important in the grand scheme of things.
It was, however, Xavi’s first trophy as Barcelona boss. Moreover, any victory over Madrid is cause for celebration. Xavi’s team were outplayed in the first La Liga match between these two sides in October, going down 3-1 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. To defeat their arch-rivals by the same scoreline three months on shows the progress Barcelona have made.
Xavi certainly got the better of Carlo Ancelotti in the tactical battle. Barcelona dominated the midfield, with Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong providing a platform, and Gavi and Pedri dropping into central areas to overload Madrid.
Madrid turned in a lackluster performance, so no one of a Barcelona persuasion should get carried away. But given that Xavi was previously criticized for his team’s performances in the biggest matches, this was a very welcome win.
Barcelona must now tighten their grip on the top spot in La Liga. If they allow Madrid to overhaul them at the summit of the standings, no one will remember the Supercopa triumph by the summer.
Barcelona and Madrid were not in La Liga action last weekend because of the Supercopa. That allowed Real Sociedad to move within three points of the Blancos, although the best online sportsbooks do not anticipate anything other than a two-horse title race.
Getafe took on the second team from the city of Barcelona last time out, going down 2-1 to Espanyol at home. It was a disappointing result for Quique Sanchez Flores’ charges, who have now lost three matches on the bounce in all competitions - including a 3-2 loss to Levante in the Copa del Rey at the start of the month.
Getafe will arrive at Camp Nou in a precarious position. They sit just one point above the relegation zone and have two more tough games against Real Betis and Atletico Madrid on the horizon.
Two of the sides below Getafe - Getafe and Rayo Vallecano - are in even worse form, but Cadiz are showing signs of life and Sevilla are bound to improve at some point. The Azulones finished 15th last term and the vast majority of their fans would settle for ending the current campaign in the same position.
Getafe’s main problem is attack. They have scored the fifth-fewest goals in La Liga this season with 16. Some statistics suggest they have been fortunate to notch that many. Getafe sit bottom of the expected goals table, which demonstrates they are not creating very many chances.
Sanchez Flores did an excellent job last term, inheriting a difficult position before leading Getafe to safety. He retains the backing of the club for now, but the Spaniard could become vulnerable if his team continues to slide.
Barcelona have a formidable record on home turf this season. Of their eight matches at Camp Nou, Xavi’s side have triumphed in six and drawn too. They have scored 18 goals in that time and conceded just one - a Joselu penalty for Espanyol on New Year’s Eve.
Opponents are finding trips to Camp Nou to be very difficult again, and we expect that trend to continue here. Even in-form teams do not relish taking on Barcelona in front of their fans, and Getafe’s recent run of three consecutive defeats means they will not arrive in Catalonia in the best shape.
Barcelona have won both halves in three of their eight league matches at home this term. We believe it is a wager worth backing for Sunday’s meeting with Getafe.
Barcelona’s defensive record at Camp Nou is phenomenal, with seven clean sheets in eight games there. If they were to register another shut-out here, they would simply need to score either side of half-time in order for this wager to be successful.
That should be well within their capabilities, especially after the confidence-boosting victory over Real Madrid last time out. Back Barcelona to win both halves.
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Teams: Barcelona vs Getafe
Location: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Date and Time: Sunday, 22 January 2023, 13.30 PM EST
How to Watch: ESPN+
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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