Madrid, Feb 9 (IANS) FC Barcelona will look to get back to winning ways when they entertain Getafe in the Camp Nou Stadium Sunday.
Last week saw Barca drop two points after a difficult game away to Valencia, in a match where they looked tired after their Copa del Rey tie away to Real Madrid. The players have had little time to recover this week either given that the majority of them have been away on international duty, reports Xinhua.
However, with Atletico Madrid nine points behind, Jordi Roura, who is in charge of the first team as Tito VIlanova continues with his treatment for cancer, will make few changes.
Vilanova is currently in New York, but following his side closely and in constant contact with Roura and both know three points against Getafe will keep the pressure on their rivals, who face a derby game away to Rayo Vallecano later in the day.
Sunday's game kicks off at mid-day in the Camp Nou, the first time Barca have played at this time since the football league decided to change kick off times and there is expectation to see how fans and players will respond to a change of routine.
Meanwhile the club will be hoping that the chance to televise the match at primetime in Asia will help their marketing.
Lionel Messi will again start after signing a new contract during the week and will be partnered by Pedro and Andres Iniesta in the Barca front line, while Thiago Alcantara will go into the side for Xavi Hernandez, missing with a hamstring strain.
Getafe have struggled away from home, but have strikers Adrian Colunga and Adrian Vazquez in fine form, although coach Luis Garcia's comments that it is impossible to trade blows with Barca implies his side will sit deep and look to play on the break.