Champions elect Football Club Barcelona will want to continue to dominate the Spanish La Liga table when they visit Las Palmas for their match-day 26 fixture.
Estadio de Gran Canaria will host the match which is scheduled to kick-off at 20:00 GMT and Antonio Mateu will be the referee for this clash.
Las Palmas are in a spot of a bother and are one of the prime candidates for relegation to the Segunda Division this season. The club is placed eighteenth in the league at the moment but are one point off seventeenth place Levante.
The Canaries were able to return home with at least a point on the road to Leganes. The game was a stalemate as both teams didn’t manage to put the ball in the back of the net in the whole of ninety minutes.
Paco Jemez has to turn things around if Las Palmas are to enjoy another year in the top flight but the run of games following the Barcelona clash is tough. Visits from Real Madrid and Villarreal await them while they have to travel to Vigo and La Coruna as well, which is a relegation six-pointer.
Barcelona would have been shaken slightly after some unconvincing displays in previous weeks but showed the world what they are about on Sunday, thrashing fellow Catalan club Girona 6-1. Girona forward Portu scored early on in the game, running past the Barca defense and slotting home the goal.
However, with the Blaugrana still to work their magic on the pitch, the score-line could be exhausting for the away side. And that precisely what happened. Barcelona came back and scored six past Girona with a hat-trick from Luis Suarez, a brace from Messi and a first La Liga goal for their record transfer Philipe Coutinho.The win was Barca’s twentieth of the league campaign, and they stay clear of Atletico Madrid at the top with 65 points already in their pockets.
Ernesto Valverde will look to rotate the side slightly keeping in mind their next game which is against Atletico Madrid.
Las Palmas have managed to pick up seven points from their previous five home matches, and one of the wins was against Valencia. However, all-conquering Barcelona don’t hesitate to play in the unfamiliar turf as they have won four of their five matches away, dispatching fifteen goals in the process.
Head to Head
The Blaugrana seem to have made the fixture their own as the last nine competitive meetings between the two clubs have ended in wins for the Catalan giants. Las Palmas were able to rob some points off Barcelona back in 2002 when the game finished 1-1.
Barcelona were dominant at home the last time the clubs faced off against each other. Two goals from their Argentine magician Lionel Messi and a goal from Busquets secured Barca a 3-0 win on the night.
Players to Watch
The Argentinean forward has been descent in-front of goal for Las Palmas managing to put six goals at the back of the net in twenty-four games he has played. The striker has twice from the spot in Las Palmas’ last five games and will be someone to watch out for. The number 9 has also contributed with two assists.
The Uruguayan is having yet another stellar season in-front of goal after a shaky start. The Barcelona number 9 has contributed to 20 goals this season and has chipped in with six assists as well. His strike partnership with Lionel Messi has been stronger than ever before with the two players carrying the Catalans to a possible title.
Ernesto Valverde has been dealt with an injury blow as his first choice right back Nelson Semedo has suffered a Hamstring injury, the club announced. The Portuguese will miss out the whole of March.
Jordi Alba picked up his fifth yellow of the season and will be kept out of the team due to suspension but will return to face Atletico Madrid next Sunday.
Paco Jemez has his veterans of the squad Momo, and Gabriel Penalba sidelined due to muscle problems. The latter got injured after their match against Sevilla, and no news have surfaced about his return.
Jonathan Vieri’s transfer to China has left a big hole in their midfield. Center back Pedro Bigas hasn’t featured for the club since January and is expected to sit out the whole season.
Las Palmas vs Barcelona Line Up( Predicted XI)
Las Palmas Line Up(4-2-3-1)
Michel – Alejandro Galvez – Ximo Navarro – Aquirregaray
Etebo – Vicente Gomez
Halilovic – Tana – Nacho Gil
Barcelona Line Up(4-4-2)
Sergi Roberto – Mina – Pique – Digne
Dembele – Paulinho – Busquets – Iniesta
Las Palmas vs Barcelona Prediction
There is no stopping Barcelona at the moment, and they seem destined to win the title after having a comparatively poor season with their standards last term. They have a crucial game on Sunday next week against Atletico Madrid who are only seven points behind them in the league table. If the Madrid based side manage to win on the night, the title race could stretch till the end of the season.
Liga minnows Las Palmas are heading towards relegation and don’t have what it takes to stop the mighty Barcelona. However, if they create an upset, the league is undoubtedly going to be fascinating to watch.
Our Prediction: Las Palmas 1-3 Barcelona