Las Palmas v Barcelona preview: Luis Enrique wary of complacency
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 20/02/16 4:16pm
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique will take nothing for granted as his side aim to close in on the Primera Division title.
The Catalan giants moved six points clear of rivals Atletico Madrid when they won 3-1 at Sporting Gijon on Wednesday night.
Real Madrid are seven behind, while Barcelona also boast a better head-to-head record against their rivals.
It has now been a record 31 matches since Barcelona last tasted defeat, at Sevilla in early October, and as such there would need to be a dramatic loss of form for Luis Enrique's squad not to go on to claim a fifth La Liga title in seven years.
Nevertheless, Luis Enrique intends to keep everyone grounded, with a trip to relegation-threatened Las Palmas next up on Saturday afternoon.
"I see a group of players with clear objectives, aware that everything is still to be decided," he said at his pre-match press conference.
"If there was anything wild going on at the training ground, or in our day-to-day business, I would be worried, but there is not.
"The players are enjoying themselves, but we know how difficult it is to keep winning.
"Until things are mathematically certain, nobody here is going to think they have won anything and none of our rivals are going to give up the chase."
There is little time for Barcelona to rest as, following the trip to the Canary Islands, Luis Enrique must prepare his squad for the first leg of their Champions League meeting with Arsenal.
The Barcelona manager, though, says there can be no excuses for anyone losing focus on Saturday.
"If we do not beat Las Palmas, it will not be because we are thinking about Arsenal," Enrique added.
"We have shown that we can compete at our best playing every three days."
Lionel Messi took his La Liga goal tally past the 300 mark with a brace at Gijon. With one eye on the upcoming trip to London, Enrique could be tempted to rest the Argentinian playmaker in Gran Canaria, or another of a formidable attacking trio that includes Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Dani Alves are all expected to return to the team, while midfielder Sergio Busquets is suspended.
Las Palmas, meanwhile, go into the weekend's matches sitting 18th in the Primera Division, but only a point behind Espanyol. Despite this, Enrique has warned against complacency.
"Las Palmas can make things very difficult for us," he said. "They know how we play, they are well organised, play good football themselves, so we will have to press them well to recover the ball."