Getafe vs Barcelona
Barcelona’s defence of their La Liga title will begin on Sunday evening, with the Catalan outfit making the trip to Coliseum Alfonso Perez to face Getafe.
Xavi’s side finished 10 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid at the top of the table last season, while Getafe ended the campaign down in 15th position, only narrowly avoiding relegation to the second tier.
Getafe have only spent one season out of the top flight of Spanish football since 2004, but they have now finished 15th in each of their last three campaigns, which is a huge drop-off considering that the capital outfit were eighth, fifth and eighth between 2018 and 2020.
The Deep Blue Ones had a scare last season, with their survival going to the final day, but they managed to finish two points clear of 18th-placed Real Valladolid to stay in the division.
Jose Bordalas’s side have been active this summer in terms of the transfer market, boosting their squad with the arrivals of Omar Alderete, Gaston Alvarez, Portu, Choco Lozano, Sergi Altimira, Jose Angel Carmona and Daniel Fuzato.
There have also been a number of departures, including Munir El Haddadi, Angel Algobia and Jaime Seoane, so there will be a fresh look about the squad in the new campaign.
Getafe played six pre-season friendlies over the summer, recording four wins in the process, and they will enter this match off the back of a morale-boosting 4-1 success over Vitesse.
Barcelona were comfortably the best side in La Liga last season, winning 28, drawing four and losing six of their 38 matches to collect 88 points, which left them 10 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid.
The Catalan outfit have had a difficult summer to date due to their financial issues, though, only being able to add Ilkay Gundogan, Inigo Martinez and Oriol Romeu to their squad.
Franck Kessie, Nico Gonzalez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are among those to have left, while Ousmane Dembele’s move to Paris Saint-Germain will be confirmed in the near future, so it is vital that the Catalan outfit bring in another attacker before the end of the transfer window.
Barcelona won four of their five friendlies over the summer, including a 4-2 success over Tottenham Hotspur in the Joan Gamper Trophy final last time out, while they beat Real Madrid 3-0 at the end of July.
Head coach Xavi will know the importance of making a winning start to the campaign, but the Catalan side have been held to goalless draws on their last two visits to Getafe, while Barcelona only narrowly won 1-0 when the teams locked horns at Camp Nou last season.