February 10, 2013
Mid-day start won't phase Barca - Alba
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||3.3||1.0|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.8|
|Last 5 home||W-W-W-W-W||L-W-L-D-W|
|Last 5 away||W-D-W-D-L||L-L-L-D-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Barcelona | Getafe|
|5/26||A: Espanyol||5/26||H: Rayo Vallecano|
|6/1||H: Malaga||6/1||A: Granada|
Jordi Alba has dismissed claims Barcelona will suffer against Getafe in their Primera Division clash thanks to the early kick-off time and Spain's trip to Qatar in midweek.
The Barca full-back was part of the Spain squad which beat Uruguay 3-1 in their international friendly in Doha on Wednesday, which saw a large number of the Catalan side clock up a considerable number of air miles either side of the game.
Sunday's match against Getafe will be the first time Barcelona have played in a mid-day kick-off since the new time was brought in at the beginning of last season.
However, Alba says timings and long-distance travel are no excuse for his side as they bid to increase their nine-point advantage over Atletico Madrid at the top of the overall standings at home to Getafe.
"Getafe are a very difficult opponent,'' Alba told the club's official website.
"They are aggressive, have quality players and play good football. They will make things difficult for us, but the fact we are playing at 12 shouldn't be any excuse.
"February will be an awkward month with very difficult matches, but we have to maintain the same intensity in all competitions. The team is capable of doing that and has shown it in previous years.''
Barcelona were given a boost ahead of the match as Lionel Messi signed a two-year contract extension.
The Argentina superstar put pen to paper on his new deal on Thursday and is now tied to the Catalan giants until June 30, 2018.
Alba, who has played both alongside Messi and against him during his time at Valencia, said: "I can't imagine what Messi will be like in 2018, but his extension is great news for all Barca fans.
"I had the misfortune of facing him as an opponent and now I am happy to have him as a team-mate. I have never seen anyone do the things that he does.''
Xavi is the only Barcelona player who is unavailable for meeting with Getafe due to an ankle problem, although the team is unlikely to suffer in his absence as they have not lost in the four games where he has not featured.
Getafe, however, have several injury worries in defence.
Defender Rafa and goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya are both suspended while Juan Valera missed out due to a back problem.
Despite this, Getafe midfielder Jaime Gavilan though believes his side can cause an upset.
He told Marca.com: "Against Barcelona there is never a right moment to say this is our chance to beat them because you never know how they are going to play.
"But it is true that without Xavi they are vulnerable. Many players have arrived back after long trips so why can't we create a surprise?"