Sunday, 2 January 2011

Getafe - Real Madrid Preview: La Liga Jornada 17

Primera División: Jornada 17
Monday January 3, 22:00 CET
Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Getafe

Getafe's much-deserved winter break will come to an end in dramatic circumstances on Monday night as the Azulones host near-neighbours Real Madrid in La Liga's seventeenth matchday.

The famous Galácticos are trying to keep pace with Barcelona at the league's summit, while Getafe's recent run of excellent form has propelled the hosts to seventh position in the table.

A mere look at the clubs' respective statures - not to mention wage bills - would suggest an easy away victory, but in fact matches between these sides are often close and frequently shocking. Overall Getafe have won fully four of the twelve league meetings between the sides, with the Blancos coming out victorious in six.

Familiarity may breed contempt among the fans, but the opposite is true at board level. Getafe president Ángel Torres is a Real Madrid socio, coach Míchel a former Bernabéu player, and of course there is no shortage of former Madrid talent in the Getafe line-up. At the other end, Pedro Léon left the Coliseum for Chamartín in the close season, while centre-back Raúl Albiol spent his early career at Geta on loan from Valencia.

Last Season
Real Madrid 2-0 Getafe (Higuaín 2)
Getafe 2-4 Real Madrid (Parejo, Pedro León - C. Ronaldo 2, Higuaín 2)

But the two sides' supporters, as mentioned, do not get on well. Real Madrid defeneder Pepe raked his studs down Javier Casquero's back in a fraught encounter at the end of the 2008-09 season; stewards at the Bernabéu have taunted Getafe fans in the past; and overall the atmosphere is not expected to be pleasant.

Getafe are still without Adrián Colunga and Pedro Mosquero due to injury, while Víctor Sánchez and Iván Marcano are suspended. Other than that, coach Míchel has pledged not to change from his usual 4-2-3-1, stating that Madrid hold no fear for his side. Borja Fernández's return from injury, meanwhile, could help the boss steel up the defensive midfield if so required in the second period.

Míchel's opposite number José Mourinho doesn't have his sorrows to seek: he has just two forwards available, with Gonzalo Higuaín still being out of commission. Plus, starting centre-backs Ricardo Carvalho and Pepe are both banned, meaning that a defensive reshuffle is on the cards. The only piece of good news for Mourinho is that Kaká is back after almost a year on the sidelines, although he may not start this encounter.

Probable line-ups
Real Madrid

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