Luis Enrique anticipating tough Las Palmas test

Luis Enrique will be without Gerard Pique for Sunday's trip to Las Palmas - a match he thinks is fraught with danger.

"Las Palmas have had a very good season. They are in a very good position in the table due to their hard work."   -  Getty Images

Luis Enrique is adamant his Barcelona players will continue to fight for the Liga title but is concerned its challenge may come unstuck at Las Palmas on Sunday.

Barca heads to the Canary Islands level on points with Real Madrid but having played a game more and is now rank outsiders to retain its crown.

To maintain an interest it has to win at Estadio Gran Canaria, a venue at which Las Palmas has lost just three of its 18 league games this season.

Luis Enrique told reporters: "Las Palmas have had a very good season. They are in a very good position in the table due to their hard work.

"In the second half of the season they have suffered a little bit away from home but at home they are a very tough side.

"It will be a complicated and demanding match.

"They have a stadium where the fans really back their players and they are one of the teams that play the best football in the league.

"But the players' mood is to exploit our options to win all the titles we can. We will fight to win the league title until the last moment."

Centre-half Gerard Pique misses out to add to Luis Enrique's defensive woes with Aleix Vidal, Rafinha and Jeremy Mathieu also sidelined and Sergi Roberto suspended. Brazilian Marlon Santos will travel with the squad.

"We have a lot of casualties in defence but we have a great team to deal with these situations," the coach added.

Luis Enrique, who will stand down at the end of the campaign, was asked about the reports this week suggesting Neymar would look to leave the club in the off-season if Juan Carlos Unzue was named boss.

But, typically, he played a straight bat, saying: "I'm not interested in anything other than the match against Las Palmas."

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