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Barcelona v Getafe: Iniesta keen to maintain momentum

Barcelona are approaching each of the last five games of their La Liga season as “a final”, according to Andres Iniesta. 

A 23rd Liga title could be on the cards for the Catalan giants in the closing weeks of 2014-15 as Barca, who welcome Getafe to Camp Nou on Tuesday, look to secure the first of a possible three trophies in Luis Enrique’s debut campaign. 

The league leaders extended their unbeaten Liga run to nine games on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Catalan rivals Espanyol and are two points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, who kept the pressure up with a 4-2 victory over Celta Vigo the following day. 

With a UEFA Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich also on the horizon, Barca are braced for a testing run-in, with Iniesta keen to ensure Luis Enrique’s men stay alert in the quest for a domestic and European treble.

“It’s both great and difficult at the same time [fighting on three fronts],” he said. “We’re happy and content. 

“Every match is a final and we really need to win every match left. We’re taking everything seriously and must keep picking up wins.”

History suggests Barca should be able to do just that against Pablo Franco’s side given they have not lost any of their last six league meetings.

However, Getafe have frustrated their illustrious opponents in the previous two encounters, both matches ended in a draw, with the first meeting this season finishing goalless.

A 1-0 defeat to Levante on Saturday meant they are still looking over their shoulders in the relegation battle, with Getafe currently holding an eight-point cushion.

The task of claiming valuable points does not get much harder than facing Luis Enrique’s side, especially given some of their rivals face each other in the next round of fixtures.

Getafe will continue to be without Alvaro Vazquez after he underwent shoulder surgery, meaning so much will fall on the shoulders of Pablo Sarabia.

“We all know it is a very difficult stadium [to go to],” he said. “We will try to do a good job there.

“We will see if we can score as last year [when they drew 2-2], but we also know the difficulties that entails.”

Meanwhile, Barca’s squad has been strengthened further after defender Thomas Vermaelen was given the all clear by the club’s medical staff on Sunday to make his first appearance since moving from Arsenal last August. 

Vermaelen’s return from a hamstring injury gives Luis Enrique a fully-fit squad to select from entering a vital stage of their season.

Sun 26 Apr, 2015
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