Barcelona take on Real Betis at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 30/12/15 10:58pm
World club champions Barcelona will be hoping to overcome tiredness and fatigue in time for their final match of the year against Real Betis at the Camp Nou.
Luis Enrique's side will be aiming to end the year in style after defeating River Plate in the Club World Cup final to win their fifth trophy of 2015 - the only piece of silverware to escape them was the domestic Super Cup which they lost to Athletic Bilbao.
They now turn their attention to La Liga where they will be targeting the Spanish record of goals in a calendar year.
Barca have scored 176 goals this year, two less than the record set by Real Madrid in 2014. Incredibly, 134 of those have come from Luis Suarez and strike partners Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Barca currently lead the domestic table only on goal difference over second-placed Atletico Madrid, having drawn their last two league matches before heading to the Far East.
The Betis encounter is just the start of a hectic domestic schedule before the Champions League resumes in February with a tie against Arsenal.
"There is always a bit of worry about tiredness after the players have taken some time off, but after watching them train this morning, I have every reason to feel optimistic," Enrique said at his pre-match press conference.
"Betis is an attractive game with important points at stake.
"The only important thing is to get three points and extend our lead at the top of the table.
"I aim for better than last year - nobody can take what we won in 2015 away from us. It is part of the club."
Barca face a two-leg Copa del Rey tie against city rivals Espanyol as well as a league game against the same opponents in January.
They also face Granada, Athletic Bilbao, Malaga and Atletico Madrid in a tricky schedule.
To cope with the extra workload, Enrique will turn to summer signings Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, who have yet to play this season because of Barcelona's transfer ban.
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"To help with that, we have got two new players coming in, but we will need to bring them in gradually so that they can get back into the right rhythm," Enrique said of the duo, who can be registered from the start of 2016.
"They are dying to get out there and start helping the team on the pitch, and not just from the sidelines.
"They have settled in very nicely and now all that remains is for them to start enjoying their football for real."
Playmaker Lionel Messi was flown back to Spain in a private jet after attending the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai to make sure he would be available ahead of what is set to be his 500th appearance for Barcelona.
Messi scored a double four times in his last six matches against Betis, including the last match in April, which saw his side run out 3-1 winners.
Opponents Betis have lost their last four games against Barca. However, Pepe Mel's side have proved difficult to beat on the road this season, and could yet force their way into contention for the European places.
They are currently sitting 11th in the table, within six points of Deportivo in sixth spot.
And Mel believes with the right focus, his men can target an upset against the Catalan giants.
"We know we are playing against the best team in the world, which is not subjective, but shown by the results," he said at a press conference, reported on the club's official website.
"However, we know that if we go there with intensity and attitude, then we will be in the game and we will have chances.
"There is only one ball, and they always try to hoard it, but we also have our own weapons and we will try to prevail."