Despite his absence from Barcelona, Tito Vilanova is still fully involved in the running of the team, according to his assistant Jordi Roura. Vilanova will again be missing from the touchline as Barcelona host Getafe on Sunday as he continues to undergo cancer treatment in New York. But Roura has said that the manager still making his presence felt, with cameras even set-up to allow him to watch the training sessions.
“We’ve been in permanent contact with him all the time thanks to new technologies,” Roura explained, according to Barcelona’s official Web site. “He’s more active than ever, he’s feeling really well. Tito has access to all the matches and the reports, and that allows us to talk about it all. There’s only a slight difference even though he’s not here.”
Barcelona are looking to get back to winning ways in the league, following last weekend’s draw with Valencia, and maintain their dominant advantage at the top of the table.
The match against Getafe has an unfamiliar kick-off time, which poses an extra challenge after much of Barcelona’s squad has been away on international duty.
“The time is special but we will try and go out there with the maximum intensity and get stuck into the game so that these factors don’t affect us,” Roura said. “One or two players may be tired but in four days you can recover quickly. We’ll see how everyone is and then decide the starting eleven.”
Roura will be unable to call upon Xavi, who is out with injury.
Getafe should travel to the Camp Nou with renewed confidence after beating Deportivo La Coruna last week to end a dismal streak of eight league matches without a win. Manager Luis Garcia Plaza will have to cope with a series of absentees at the back with defenders Rafa and Juan Varela missing out along with goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya.
D: Alves, Puyol, Pique, Adriano
M: Thiago, Busquests, Fabregas
F: Sanchez, Messi, Villa
D: M. Torres, Lopo, Escudero, Alexis
M: Borja, X. Torres
Leon, Barrada, Gavilan
Prediction: Getafe have never won a Liga encounter over Barcelona at the Camp Nou and it is hard to see that streak being broken on Sunday. The timing of the match may mean that Barcelona are not quite at their flowing best, but they should still secure a comfortable win.
Barcelona 3-0 Getafe
Where to watch: The Liga encounter will kick-off at 6 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by beIN Sport. A live stream, which you view at your own discretion, will be available here.