Lionel Messi's return has been long awaited by Barcelona's fans, and they could likely see his return on Wednesday. A Copa del Rey fixture at home would be a perfect opportunity for the Argentine to get some competitive minutes under his belt, just before a very important La Liga match at the weekend against Atletico Madrid.
But before the Catalans can worry about Atletico, they will need to get by a Getafe squad that they defeated 5-2 on December 22.
Tata Martino's squad were down 2-0 after 14 minutes in that match, but luckily a hat-trick from Pedro, and a brace from Cesc Fabregas helped Barcelona earn three points.
Barcelona's manager could opt to give some players a rest, with one eye on their upcoming fixture. Xavi was set to get a day off, but Neymar's latest illness forces Martino to bring the Spanish international into the squad.
Without Neymar, it is possible that Pedro could find himself in the starting XI. Another option for the attack would be Alexis Sanchez, who netted a hat-trick against Elche.
Having Messi back will give Martino another solid option to call on, but he is prepared to be cautious with his star player.
"What has changed is that he has a few training sessions done now," Martino told reporters. "All he needs to do now is take part in a competitive game."
Getting a victory in this match would put the Barcelona players in a positive state of mind heading into the weekend. Expect Getafe to threaten the hosts through Pedro Leon, who has five goals and four assists in La Liga.
With only nine points in nine away fixtures, Getafe face a serious challenge, but if they can keep it close, anything can happen in the second leg.
Watch Barcelona vs Getafe live on Wednesday, January 8, 2014:
In Canada at 16:00 ET on: beIN SPORTS Play Canada
For full TV listings in your area, be sure to visit the Barcelona vs Getafe match page.
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