With a semifinal clash against Barcelona just four days away, Madrid’s game against Getafe has gained increased importance.
While Madrid seem to have recovered some of the form that led them to the title last season, Getafe are sitting 11th in the league and have been struggling to get results.
Although Los Blancos are largely favorites to take all three points from the fixture, there are four interesting points to look out for during this game.
Antonio Adán will almost certainly be the goalkeeper against Getafe at the Bernabeu on Sunday. Diego López is set to be presented to the Real Madrid fans on Monday and will only be available for selection for the first leg of the clash against Barcelona next Wednesday (via AS).
Who will start that crucial game against the Catalans is a question that will be on all Madridistas' mind. It is also most likely to be in Adán’s thoughts.
Jose Mourinho has already shown his confidence in Adán by benching Iker Casillas last month. But the question remains, why, if he thought Adán was a good backup option, did Madrid pounce on Diego López? The logical answer would be that having two keepers is an extra security, should one of the two be sent off or injured.
It doesn’t, however, answer the question as to who will play in the next few key games. Adán’s performance against Getafe will be watched with extra scrutiny and may well decide if he gets a chance in the Clasico next Wednesday.
Just for his recent histrionics on the bench in recent games (see video), watching José Mourinho has become a compelling spectacle.
On the game played the day after his 50th birthday, every gesture from the Portuguese will be observed in detail, after he faced a week of heavy turbulence.
Earlier this week, the most-read sport newspaper in Spain, Marca, published a front cover that has been the talk of every football fan in the Spanish capital.
The cover reported the words of a supposed ultimatum put to Madrid’s president Florentino Perez by the two Merengue captains, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos. The captains allegedly said that if Mourinho was still in charge for the next season, then a number of major players from the club would put in transfer requests (via Marca).
Whether it is true or not, what is clear is that Mourinho will once again be one of the focal points of the media during the match against Getafe. It will also be interesting to see if the players will show any visible signs of support for their manager, as Cristiano Ronaldo did against Real Sociedad.
This has become a recurring theme over the past few weeks, but with the confirmation that Barcelona are around the corner, the state of Madrid’s defense has become an absolute priority.
The long list of injuries and suspended players keeps getting longer for Real Madrid, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao are all ruled out for the clash against the Catalans.
The match against Getafe, in which the lineup will most likely be Antonio Adán, Alvaro Arbeloa, Raphaël Varane, Raul Albiol and Fabio Coentrao, will be a good way to gauge who is in form for the Clasico.
That would be the same as the two last matches against Valencia, with the exception of Adán who replaces the injured Casillas.
That is, if Mourinho doesn’t chose to leave Coentrao on the bench, considering that he won’t be available for the game against Barcelona. In any case, how sturdy Madrid's defense proves against Getafe will either have Merengues reassured, or dreading to see how they cope with the likes of Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta.
Real Madrid aren’t the only ones with injury problems, as Getafe has a long list of first-team players unavailable as well.
Mané, Pedro Léon, Ángel Lafita and Juan Rodrígues are all out injured, while Abdel Barrad and Mehdi Lacen are in South Africa playing for their national teams. Argentine central defender David Abraham has been signed off to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. (via Transfermarkt)
The only good news is that defender Miguel Torres, who played more than 50 games for Real Madrid, will return from injury to face his former club (via Goal.com).
With so many first-team players out, it is hard to see the Azulones get anything out of this game. But then again, no one would have bet on them beating the Merengues in the second game of the season. So they will keep at least some belief in their ability to repeat a shock result.