Getafe look to cause more problems for Real
MADRID, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Modest Getafe have been a thorn in the side of Real Madrid in recent meetings and they have the chance to be a nuisance again when they visit the leaders in the Primera Liga on Sunday.
Real coach Bernd Schuster's former club were the last team to take a point at the Bernabeu, when they drew 1-1 there last March, and were unlucky to lose by a solitary goal after having dominated in the Coliseum earlier this season.
However, they are in unfamiliar territory at present as one of only two Spanish clubs still alive in three competitions, the other being Barcelona.
They host AEK Athens in a UEFA Cup last 32 second leg on Thursday and next week face Racing Santander in the King's Cup semi-final first leg. They are 13th in the league.
'I don't know which game is more important,' Getafe coach Michael Laudrup said.
'Thursday's game is a decider, Sunday's is in a place any player would love to play and next week's Cup game has a return leg but is one step from a final. Whatever happens we always go out to win.'
Getafe are fortunate to be catching the champions at a time when one or two doubts are creeping into their minds following a run of three defeats from their last four games in all competitions.
The reverses have all been on their travels, the last a 2-1 loss to AS Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, but at home they maintain a 100 per cent league record.
Schuster's squad is likely to be boosted by the return from injury of Brazilian forward Robinho, while Dutch winger Arjen Robben is finally starting to make his mark in the side.
Last weekend's surprise 2-1 defeat at Real Betis saw their lead at the top cut to five points, and any more slip-ups will be gratefully received in Barcelona.
Frank Rijkaard's side were lucky to overcome Real Zaragoza 2-1 away last week but return to the Nou Camp to take on basement club Levante on Sunday at a stadium where they have won all but one of their league games this season.
Barca beat Celtic 3-2 away in a Champions League-thriller on Wednesday and can count on Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o once again.
Since the turn of the year, Levante have shown more spirit than they did a few months ago but they have only garnered four points on their travels.
Third-placed Villarreal travel to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday when fourth-placed Atletico Madrid are in Pamplona to take on Osasuna.
Javier Aguirre's side are without suspended regulars Sergio Aguero, Raul Garcia and Pablo Ibanez while winger Simao Sabrosa is injured.