La Liga Preview: 18. Getafe

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After bouncing back from 2015-16 relegation and winning promotion via the playoff, Getafe reenter Spain’s top flight for the 2016-17 season. However, their small squad and inability to score goals could see them dropping right back down.

Last season: 3rd in Segunda Division, won promotion playoffs
Predicted finish: 18th
Manager: Jose Bordalas (2nd season)
Transfers in: AM Francisco Portillo, Real Betis, 1.5M euros; LW Dani Pacheco, Real Betis, 1M; CF Chuli, Almeria, 700k;
Transfers out: AM David Fuster, retired
Predicted Starting 11 (4-3-3): GK Vincente Guaita, RB Damian Suarez, CB Cata Diaz, CB Nicolas Gorosito, LB Francisco Molinero, CM Alejandro Faurlin, CM Sergio Mora AM Francisco Portillo RW Chuli, CF Jorge Molina, LW Dani Pacheco

2016-17: Getafe’s season got off to a rough start as they drew their first three games before losing 3-0 to Cadiz and did not post their first win until week 5. Two more losses led to the firing of manager Juan Esnaider, replaced by Bordalas. Despite a draw in his first match, Bordalas started to turn the team around, winning six of nine and continuing an undefeated streak from October 8 until January 29. A rough February and March including a 5-1 loss at eventual champions Girona followed, but Getafe would right the ship to roll off another seven games undefeated. They traded wins and losses in the ensuing matches, but secured a spot in the promotion playoffs where they overcame Huesca and Tenerife to win advancement to the top flight.

Star player: A veteran at 35 and now with eighth club, Jorge Molina had a breakout season last year, scoring 22 goals. However, the star striker must find help in the team as no other player scored more than five. In fact, Molina accounted for 40 percent of Getafe goals in the 2016-17 campaign. Another year older means Molina could trail off and the rest of the Getafe players particularly Faurlin and Chuli, must pick up the slack in order to secure safety for Getafe.

Transfer window: Despite their step up to the top flight, Getafe is yet to make any transfer moves, which could also spell doom for the team. Their current squad consists of only 20 players, which is bigger than Leganes’ 15, but still woefully small. They must add depth and attacking prowess to overcome last season’s average marks of 55 goals scored and 43 against.

Prediction: A small squad, an inexperienced manager, and a lack of goal scoring prowess were reasons for Getafe’s demise last season and are likely to spell doom again in a stacked 2017-18 La Liga. Getafe has solid players in Molina and on their back line, but it is hard to see a team that is largely led by one player overcoming the likes of Real Betis, Deportivo la Coruna and others in a fight for safety. Despite living on the outskirts of Madrid, Getafe is still a very small team and may not have enough to stay up this season.

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