Copa Del Rey Preview: Getafe v Racing Santander
Following Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Valencia in the first leg semi final tie last night, it’s the turn of the less glamorous semi finalists to compete for a place in the final of Spain’s Copa Del Rey. Don’t be put off by the lack of star appeal. Getafe v Santander brings together two decent sides in a fascinating encounter that means a great deal to both clubs…
The hosts are still celebrating their weekend victory over neighboring Real Madrid, the nature of which left more than just the Getafe fans grinning from ear to ear as it certainly brightened up the weekend of many a Barcelona fan. That 1-0 win will ensure that Getafe are confident of reaching the Copa Del Rey final for the second consecutive season and they may feel also themselves fortunate to have avoided both Barcelona and Valencia in the semi-final draw.
Racing Santander are no pushovers however, as Getafe found out earlier in the season when the two sides last met in the league and Oscar Serrano and Jorge Lopez secured a 2-0 win for Racing. Tonight’s visitors are also buoyed by weekend success in La Liga after Racing ended Almeria’s 2008 unbeaten run after a solitary goal from Mohammed Tchite secured a 1-0 victory.
Getafe, under coach Michael Laudrup, are proving to be quite a successful cup side this season after securing qualification through to the last sixteen of the UEFA Cup as well as seeing off Burgos, Levante and Mallorca to reach the semi finals of the Copa Del Rey. However, Laudrup’s passing game may face it’s sternest cup examination so far this term as Racing represent tough opposition and have shown a genuine desire to reach the final.
Racing coach, Marcelino, is one of the success stories of the season who is winning many admirers for the way in which his seventh placed La Liga side have fought to put themselves to within one point of UEFA qualification through a league placing.
However, as Malaga, Real Zaragoza and Athletic Bilbao have already found out, Marcelino sees the Copa Del Rey as the clubs best chance of competing in Europe next season. In order to achieve that goal, Racing must first secure a decent result in tonight’s first leg if they are to stand any chance of reaching the final for the first time in their history.
FORM: Getafe go in to tonight’s game in better shape than their opponents. The Madrid club are unbeaten in their last five competitive matches that includes the win over Real Madrid and an impressive UEFA Cup victory against AEK Athens. Racing have taken just seven points from a possible 18 in the league recently and their early season success has been hampered by a frustrating habit of drawing matches.
Getafe’s Franck Signorino, Francisco Sousa and Miguel Pallardo will all miss tonight’s match through injury, but Rubén de la Red and Esteban Granero will return to the side after missing the weekend’s victory at the Bernabeu.
The only injury concern for Racing is Jordi Lopez is definitely out. Brian Sarmiento is suspended, while Pedro Munitis is back in the squad but may start the match on the bench.