Barcelona v Getafe preview
Barcelona defender Adriano insists the players never gave up hope of chasing down Real Madrid.
Last Updated: 10/04/12 1:17pm
Barcelona defender Adriano insists the players never gave up hope of chasing down Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Coach Pep Guardiola publicly stated a month ago, "forget the league, we are not going to win" as his side trailed by 10 points.
His comments - which came in the middle of what has turned out to be a nine-match winning run - were widely regarded as a clever psychological ploy to spur on his players, and so it has proved.
Barcelona have the chance to close the gap at the top to just a point with victory at home to Getafe on Tuesday before Real play on Wednesday.
And Adriano said their current hot streak had re-invigorated the side.
"We've always believed that we'd have a chance at the La Liga title and now we're only four points behind them," said the Brazilian, who has enjoyed more appearances at left-back recently because of Eric Abidal's absence as he awaits a liver transplant.
"If we continue on this path, we'll be able to win.
"The team have had a lot of injuries this season and we've put in a strong effort to be where we are now.
"I'm currently going through my best moment this season. I've lost weight and I feel much better.
"Now it's time to take care of myself and play the remaining matches."
The home side will be without suspended midfielder Cesc Fabregas while right-back Dani Alves is a doubt after straining a thigh muscle in the weekend's victory over Real Zaragoza, which centre-back Gerard Pique missed through injury.
Martin Montoya replaced Alves at the weekend for his 10th appearance of the season and Adriano was full of praise for the 20-year-old youth team graduate.
"I've always really liked Montoya, ever since he did his first pre-season with the team," he told fcbarcelona.com.
"I think he brings a lot to the team. It was noticeable at La Romareda (against Zaragoza) because the team stayed at the same level when Alves was subbed out."
Getafe are in 10th place, just a point off qualifying for the Europa League, and only two weeks ago beat third-placed Valencia.
They have won four of their last six matches but captain Jaime Gavilan has no illusions about their trip to the Nou Camp.
"It will be a very difficult meeting. We have to be lucky and have a perfect match," he told Marca.
On the seemingly unstoppable Lionel Messi, who has scored 38 goals in just 30 league games, he added: "We know what he can do. Take 38 goals, says it all.
"It is a level above anyone and is what makes the difference in probably the best team in the world."
Best bet: Cristian Tello last goalscorer - 7/2