The Catalan leaders of La Liga Santander from Barcelona brace themselves for their next hurdle in their march towards the Spanish League title. Their next opponent, situated in the city of Madrid, are none other than 16th-placed Quique Sánchez Flores’ Getafe CF.
Date: Sunday, 16th April 2023
Competition: La Liga Santander
Venue: Coliseum Alfonso Pérez ( Madrid )
Time: 04:150 pm Central European Time
Referee: Juan Luis Pulido Santana
As FC Barcelona fast approach the culmination of their La Liga campaign for the 2022/2023 season, they must now devote themselves entirely to their surge towards the Spanish league title as it remains their sole opportunity for a major title this season.
Top of the table with a respectable margin of 10 points over arch-rivals in second place, Real Madrid, with one game in hand, the Catalans have just recently let a massive opportunity to increase the gap to 15 points go unattained, as they were unable to capitalize on the loss of Real Madrid to Villarreal CF. Barcelona faced a favorable opponent in the shape of 11th placed Girona but unfortunately were unable to conquer them in a Catalan derby that ended 0-0 at the Spotify Camp Nou.
Barcelona have kept a consistently strong form throughout the league campaign thus far this season, however, there would be few who would deny that a decline in performances following the FIFA World Cup has shown its presence.
This may be partly attributed to the number of key injuries that have taken their toll on La Blaugrana, with the likes of Pedri, Frenkie De Jong, Ousmane Dembele, and most recently Andreas Christensen all unavailable for Xavi Hernandez at this point of the season. The loss of such star power understandably leaves Barcelona a bit empty-handed in various departments, but it has subsequently also helped realize other shortcomings of the team.
Without Pedri to provide support and lessen the burden of his workload, a decline in the statistical performances of Robert Lewandowski has also become evident. Now it remains a task and hurdle for the manager to overcome in just how he deploys his talent against the remainder of the oppositions left to face in La Liga, with the first challenge of this last stretch in the league coming in the form of Getafe.
Getafe CF have had a season where they have struggled at times, having amassed a total of 30 points thus far after playing 28 games. In their last 5 outings in the league, they have managed to come away with two victories, two draws, and a singular loss. The team from Madrid has scored 27 times throughout the season whilst having conceded a superior number of 36 goals against them. Their last match in the competition was a 2-0 defeat to 4th-placed Real Sociedad.
In the case of FC Barcelona, Xavi’s men have recorded 4 wins and 1 draw in their previous 5 league outings. However, it is the result and subsequent performances they have shown in their previous 2 games across all competitions that raise many questions.
These include a 4-0 loss to Real Madrid and a 0-0 draw to Girona, both at home in the Spotify Camp Nou. Their inability to score in both fixtures raises massive concern and presents a problem that Xavi Hernandez will need to sort out promptly.
They currently sit atop La Liga table, having scored an impressive 53 goals whilst having conceded an astoundingly low 9 goals across their 28 games thus far, and are on course to potentially break multiple historic records if they follow this same trajectory.