Can Madrid Maintain Momentum Against Getafe?

Real Madrid face the toughest test of La Liga's three leaders this weekend as they make the short journey to Getafe. Just like the 2006/07 campaign, it's going right to the wire...

Last Updated: 14/02/14 at 17:21 Post Comment

Latest Articles

The Best Value Transfers of La Liga This Summer

4 comments

Clearly James Rodríguez and Luis Suárez are a cut above anyone recently recruited by Real Sociedad, but still it is Carlos Vela rather than that pair who make the cut...

Arsenal Have Done The Best Business In La Liga

36 comments

With last season's entire top seven likely to import from Spain this summer, Tim Stannard picks out the good business from the less so. Let's hope he wears a tin hat...

All Articles

The last time the title race in La Liga was this hair-blowingly good was back in the 2006/2007 season, when Barcelona and Real Madrid participated in a contest where each tried to blow their title chances in the final weeks of the campaign. Even Sevilla had a chance of putting their sticky, tapas-tinged, Andalusian hands on the prize on the last day of the season.

The drama of that contest owed much to a huge effort from Fabio Capello's Real Madrid to claw back a lead from Barcelona and pip the Catalan club at the post. The memories from that year are bountiful, including Barcelona blowing it against Betis to open the door a tiny bit to Madrid.

The difference to the current campaign is that there are currently three clubs tied on points and all with vulnerabilities. Real Madrid have a tendency to concede sloppy goals and can be bogged down by cloggers in Spain's wild provinces. Barcelona have a tendency to concede all kinds of goals, everywhere, especially if the still-collapsing Gerard Piqué is out on the pitch. For Atlético Madrid, the problem will be fatigue and injuries slowing them down over the final few months.

Tuesday saw another defeat for the Rojiblancos as a 2-0 defeat to Real saw them lose 5-0 on aggregate in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey. The final sees another Clásico contest over Easter, with Barcelona prevailing against Real Sociedad. However, as the final is set to be in the middle of battling league campaign, as well as crucial Champions League ties, the "match of the century!" scale used by the Spanish media only sees the game scraping to a 5/10 in terms of importance.

Each weekend, Primera pundits will be looking to the three games involving the top teams to see which have the best chance of dropping points, to keep the drama ticking along nicely. This time around, Real Madrid are in a danger-zone of sorts, although that is a relative concept in La Liga. Carlo Ancelotti's side are off to face Getafe, a flimsy team in terrible form, but a side that took a two-goal lead against Barcelona this year (before blowing it) and have beaten Madrid in the Coliseum twice over the past five meetings.

Barcelona have an immensely simple clash against a Rayo, an outfit that are second-bottom of the table, have conceded 52 goals, and that insist on an attacking style of football. This is despite the team proving again and again that it doesn't possess the ability to implement this strategy. Throw a Leo Messi who is nearly back to his best - not that he was ever at his worst - into the mix and the game could be a very messy one for Rayo.

"We are going to be braver than ever," predicted the bold Rayo boss, Paco Jémez, "as if we aren't then we have no options. I can't understand any other way of playing than fighting for every ball and having more possession than them."

"Paco is very brave, I have a huge admiration for him," said a sympathetic Tata Martino, in the manner of an executioner who promises to make the beheading quick and clean.

Atlético Madrid have a lull in the current storm of three consecutive victories by hosting struggling Real Valladolid in the Vicente Calderón, which provides a chance to rack up a morale-boosting win ahead of a contest against AC Milan in the Champions League.

"We need a good performance," admitted Diego Simeone, who rightfully pointed out that the recent example of Valencia beating Barcelona in the Camp Nou to shows that pretty much anything goes in this most unusual of title chases - the best La Liga has seen in years.

Tim Stannard

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

heyremind me of Utd's treble winning side. Swashbuckling and risk prone. We ha Jaap Stam to paper over the cracks at the back though. Not sure they have their Jaap yet.

HarryBoulton
New Striker Not Liverpool's Priority...

A

lexis Sanchez; too good for Liverpool, Stevie. :)

pires
Suarez 'too good for Arsenal'

T

he solution is to not feel sorry for any of Jabba, Gold or Sullivan. They're all deeply unpleasant and all deserve each other. If only West Ham would sign Barton and Suarez then no one would ever need to despise any other club.

spuzzell
The Strange Idea Of Sympathy For Big Sam

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Patrice Evra reveals he would have been Man Utd captain if he had stayed

Patrice Evra has revealed he would have been made captain if he had stayed at Manchester United.

Transfer news: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers targets further signings

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is hoping to further strengthen his squad ahead of the transfer deadline on September 1.

Transfer news: Jose Mourinho confirms Fernando Torres will stay at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has told Sky Sports News Fernando Torres will not be sold during this transfer window.

Mail Box

Plenty Of Reasons Why Lukaku's Worth It

The mailbox defends Everton's enormous outlay on Romelu Lukaku, while we also have mails on Spurs and Suarez. Oh, and worrying about the new magic spray...

Sterling Stuff And Other Friendly Thoughts

We have one reader reaching conclusions from last night's friendly while we have others discussing Romelu Lukaku's move to Everton. Oh and some swearing...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property