Getafe vs Real Madrid
With the New Year returns an old problem for Real Madrid: How, just how can they wrestle the La Liga title off Barcelona?
Christmas has come and gone, and the players in the Spanish league have had their break. Now they go again, and for Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid, it couldn’t be much harder when they kick off on Saturday.
Los Blancos will make the short journey to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on the outskirts of Madrid to face in-form Getafe. Zidane’s team sit just two points behind Barcelona at the top of the table but have drawn their last three games, and anything less than three points this weekend will probably see them drift further behind the reigning champions.
It’s going to be tough for the Whites, though. Head coach Jose Bordalas has done a fine job at Getafe. Since taking over in 2016, he’s led his team to promotion and two top-10 finishes in the Primera Division, earning a Europa League spot after a fifth-place finish last season.
Draws not enough for Los Blancos
A goalless draw at home to Athletic Bilbao was not the way Los Blancos hoped to go into the winter break, and that came on the back of two other single point encounters against Valencia and Barcelona. They were a little unlucky in the first goalless El Clasico for 17 years as Gareth Bale was denied a late winner by VAR.
The Welsh star has been a feature in the La Liga 2020 news and not always for the right reasons. In fact, for well over a season now he hasn’t been the most popular player at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But his national team boss, Ryan Giggs, says he is not fazed by the criticism he gets in Madrid and is still enjoying his football. ZZ somehow needs to get his unsettled star firing in the second half of the season, as he has left Karim Benzema to shoulder too much of the goalscoring burden.
The French hitman netted a highly impressive 30 goals for Los Blancos last season, and he already has 16 from 23 outings in this campaign. But he needs some help.
Compare his plight with the strikers at Barcelona, who seem to be gathering some momentum at the right time. A Luis Suarez-inspired 4-1 win over Alaves was the latest example of how Leo Messi, brilliant though he is, does not stand alone.
Getafe’s Europa target
Since promotion back to the Primera Division in 2017, Getafe have finished eighth in La Liga in 2018 and achieved a fifth-place finish last season.
Bordalas’ team is thriving in Europe, having qualified in second place behind Basel in Group C, and they have been in fine form in the league too. Defeat to Villarreal ended a five-match winning streak which has taken them to sixth position and just two points behind Atletico Madrid in fourth.
The Yellow Submarine won a hard-earned three points thanks to a second-half strike by Moi Gomez, and even though he threw his top scorer Angel Rodriguez on, Bordalas couldn’t change the game in Getafe’s favour.
Angel has already equalled his La Liga goal tally of eight for the 2018/19 campaign and he has 12 in all competitions this season, with forward Jaime Mata in support with five goals so far.
In the 28 games played between these two sides since 2004, Getafe have won five to Real Madrid’s 20 and there have been three draws.
The last meeting resulted in a 0-0 drawback in April last season and I wouldn’t rule out a repeat of that outcome. Real Madrid are unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions with only one league defeat on the road having won four and drawn four.
Getafe have only lost once in eight outings and the hosts will be keen to avoid back-to-back reversals.
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