Guardiola lauds players, Getafe next
Coach Pep Guardiola has played down his contribution to Barcelona's run of success, despite the club winning three Spanish league titles, one Copa del Rey, one club world championship and two UEFA Champions League crowns during his spell in charge. Barça are guaranteed to finish top of their Champions League group after Wednesday's 3-2 win over AC Milan at the San Siro and are currently second in La Liga behind Real Madrid.
But Guardiola was modest about his impact at the club ahead of Saturday's trip to Getafe. "It's the players the public come to watch, it's the players who win the games," he told reporters after the win in Milan. "I try to help them by getting to know the opponents and letting them know how we can do damage. Then I just make them go out and run. That is my job."
Speaking about his trophy haul, Guardiola added: "There is one absolute certainty, which is that I wouldn't have done that with another group of players. Whether this group of players would have done that with a different coach, I don't know."
Barcelona will be expected to win comfortably at struggling Getafe in Saturday's late game, but will probably need to do so to avoid falling further behind leaders Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho's side are three points ahead of Barça and contest the Madrid derby with Atletico two hours earlier, with Saturday's early game seeing Rayo Vallecano take on Valencia.
Real have dominated the Madrid derby for years, winning all four meetings between the sides last season, twice in the league and twice in the Copa del Rey. Atletico's last win in the fixture was more than 12 years ago in October 1999, when they won 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas is taking nothing for granted, telling Marca: "We are not the favourites, nor are we stupid. The derby is more than a match for Atletico. We have gone a long time without losing and they will want to finally break that streak."
In Sunday's games, the three sides in the relegation places are all away from home with Real Sociedad travelling to Real Betis, Granada away to Athletic Bilbao and bottom side Racing Santander making the trip to Mallorca.
Levante take on Sporting Gijon at the Ciutat de Valencia, Espanyol face Osasuna at El Prat and Real Zaragoza are at home to Sevilla. Monday's game sees Malaga at home to Villarreal.