Copa Del Rey Match Preview & Team News
Racing Santander coach Marcelino believes that his side will prove the pundits wrong when they face Getafe in the Copa Del Rey semi final second leg on Wednesday.
The cup tie at El Sardinero represents the second meeting between the two sides in four days. Getafe beat Racing 2-1 in La Liga on Sunday and also ran out 3-1 winners in the first leg of the Copa del Rey clash.
However, Marcelino feels that his side's underdog status could work in their favour. The Asturian coach said "Everybody thinks that Getafe are favourites, but we can spring a surprise on them."
And amidst the excitement that is building up around what is an historic tie for both clubs, Marcelino said "They (Getafe) are getting a bit carried away. Everyone needs to calm down a bit."
It has been raining heavily in Santander and that has affected both sides ability to train outside owing to waterlogged training facilities: something that Getafe coach Michael Laudrup thinks might influence the match if the pitch is too wet - and work in favour of the home side. Marcelino, however, thinks otherwise. The Racing coach said "The pitch at El Sardinero is like a sponge and it soaks up all the water, in eight months we've never had to play on a boggy pitch before."
Getafe reached last season's final after beating Barcelona in the semi finals; the Madrid side recovered from a 5-2 first-leg defeat at the Nou Camp and stunned Barcelona with an unforgettable 4-0 victory in the return leg.
The Getafe coach, who has led his side on an historic European campaign this season in the UEFA cup is undaunted by the visit to Santander's home territory and said that "it can't be as bad as going to Istanbul or Greece."
The Dane is counting on his side's experience and added "Racing are in a semi final for the first time in their history and they could be in their first final. It’s the players who have to get them there, not the fans. El Sardinero won't be an inferno. An inferno is what we saw in Istanbul and in Greece; with 80,000 in the stand, that was hostile."
Both sides will have to wait a frurther 24 hours to find out who they will face in the final: Valencia and Barcelona meet at the Mestalla on Thursday evening to settle their tie after the fist leg finished 1-1 at the Camp Nou.
Getafe have suffered from an horrendous injury list over the last week, but things are gradually improving. Ikechukwu Uche, Braulio Nobrega, Pablo Hernandez and Esteban Granero have all been declared fit to play while captain and influential centre back David Belenguer could return to action.
Laudrup will still have tomake do without Cata Díaz, Pallardó, Mario Álvarez and David Sousa.
Update - Getafe Squad: Ustari, Abbondazieri, Contra, Belenguer, Licht, Cortés, Tena, Celestini, Mario Cotelo, Gavilán, De la Red, Casquero, Pablo Hernández, Granero, Braulio, Albín and Uche.
Jonathan Valle is a doubt for Racing after he picked up a neck injury at the weekend and will most likely miss the second leg, while Tono is suspended following his red card at the on Sunday.
Update - Racing Santander Squad: Coltorti, Mario Fernández, Pinillos, Garay, Oriol, César Navas, Ayoze, Moratón, Colsa, Jorge López, Duscher, Pablo Alvarez, Serrano, Smolarek, Munitis, Bolado and Tchité.
Prediction: It won't be easy for Getafe, but they should progress to their second succesive cup final.