Previews: Getafe attempt to trip up Barca

MADRID - Getafe president Angel Torres is also a member at city rivals Real Madrid and he will be hoping his side can do the champions a favour by beating visiting leaders Barcelona in the Primera Liga on Saturday. The Catalans lost 2-0 at Getafe last season and drew 1-1 at the Nou Camp in November and more dropped points would breathe life into the championship race ahead of "El Clasico" between Real and Barca at the Bernabeu in a little over three weeks.

Barca top the table on 75 points with eight matches remaining, six ahead of Real, who play at relegation-threatened Recreativo Huelva later on Saturday as they try to stay in the hunt for a third consecutive league title.

"Our (Coliseum) stadium is not a place Barcelona like to come and we hope we don't fail and can energise the league," Torres said in a radio interview.

Barca had not played well in beating Recre 2-0 at home last weekend and it was a chance for 14th-placed Getafe to put further distance between themselves and the relegation places, he added.

"They don't adapt well to our pitch and that's what we have to very much keep in mind."

Under coach Juande Ramos, Real have done all they can to keep pace with Barca, winning 14 and drawing one of 15 league matches since they lost 2-0 at the Nou Camp in mid-December.


Central defender Pepe said Getafe's spirits would be high after they won 1-0 at third-placed Sevilla last weekend.

"They want to play a good match against Barcelona and they will be feeling very confident," the Portugal international said on the club's website.

Barca can still win three trophies this term - Spanish league and cup and Champions League - and influential midfielder Xavi said the team is in superb physical and mental shape as the season nears its climax.

"We are ready for a very tough month and a half," the Spain international told the club's website.

"For sure all the other teams will be gunning for us," he added. "We have to round off what we have been doing with trophies and we'll fight to win the three competitions although we know it will be very difficult."

Further down the table, a scrap has developed for the lucrative European places, with fourth-placed Valencia, Villarreal in fifth, sixth-placed Atletico Madrid and promoted Malaga in seventh all within three points of each other.

Valencia captain Carlos Marchena said their match at home to Sevilla on Sunday was crucial to the financially-troubled club's hopes of playing in next season's Champions League.

"When you get a run of good results it gives you a lift and three straight wins have boosted our confidence," he told the club's website.

Bottom club Espanyol desperately need three points when they host Racing Santander on Sunday with seven separating them from safety.