Camp Nou, Barcelona
Saturday 26th September, 2015, 2:30 GMT
FC Barcelona will be looking to put behind their 4-1 loss to Celta Vigo in midweek, their first defeat in the league this season, as they take on the newly promoted side Las Palmas on Saturday.
Las Palmas return to the Camp Nou for the first time in 13 years in the Spanish top-flight, having been promoted last year from the second division. They recorded their first win of the season in midweek against struggling Sevilla, and will hope to build on that impressive result.
FC Barcelona Team News & Tactics
For a change, there are no new injury concerns for FC Barcelona. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, striker Sandro Ram rez and full back Jordi Alba may return to the 18-man squad after injury. Douglas, Thomas Vermaelen and Rafinha are out of the game.
This is Barca’s 3rd game in 6 days and there will be tired legs in the squad, which was already stretched to its limits due to injuries and suspension.
Manager Luis Enrique is expected to field a strong line-up in his preferred 4-3-3 formation, with Ivan Rakitic expected to take up his place in the starting XI having been brought on from the bench in midweek to give him some much needed rest.
The front three of Neymar, Suarez, Messi are expected to lead the line with Andreas Iniesta and Sergio Busquets alongside the returning Rakitic in midfield.
Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique are expected to form the back four, with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in contention to replace Marc Andre Ter-Stagen in goal.
Barcelona Possible XI: Ter-Stegen; Alves, Alba, Mascherano, Pique; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Las Palmas Team News & Tactics
Las Palmas will hope to build on their first win of the season, having beaten Sevilla in midweek. The new-promoted side will line-up in the 5-3-2 formation with 40-year old Spanish legend Juan Carlos Valeron expected to be on the bench.
The Las Palmas back 5 will consist of a central defensive trio of Alcaraz, Bigas and Ayathami, with Castellano and Simon out wide. The midfield trio of Roque, Hernan and Culio will be hoping to form a strong shield with the Blaugrana sure to dominate possession in their half.
Jonathan Vieira and Sergio Araujo will be start up front, looking to scrap for anything that falls their way.
Las Palmas Possible XI: Varas; Alcaraz, Bigas, Ayatham, Castellano, Simon; Roque, Hernan, Culio; Araujo, Vieira
Man to Watch
3 goals and 2 assists in 4 starts may be a great end product statistic for some players, but for Lionel Messi, it is not good enough. The Argentine sensation has been superb in his overall game-play, but has not looked that convincing in front of goal. With the Celta Vigo defeat on his mind, Messi will be determined to once again start firing and Las Palmas represents a good chance to get in the goal-rush.
- Barcelona have won 8 of their last 9 home matches in La Liga.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Barcelona’s last 3 games in La Liga.
- Las Palmas have not won any of their away league games this season.
- Barcelona have scored at least 2 goals in 8 of their last 9 home matches in La Liga
FC Barcelona 5-0 Las Palmas
Las Palmas are about to play the cream of Spanish football for the first time in the league and it could be a rude surprise for them. Barcelona will be wounded by the mid-week defeat and will look to go for all out attack against the promoted side in order to restore the morale in the squad. Expect the Blaugrana to comfortably beat Las Palmas, and if not, alarm bells will be ringing at the Camp Nou despite a great start to the season.