The Canary Islands in early Spring is many people’s idea of a nice warm getaway. That could not be further from the truth this weekend as the islands brace for a storm. The visit of FC Barcelona is a whirlwind for most Spanish clubs and Las Palmas also face an orange weather alert this weekend with cold, heavy rain,hail and wind gusts of up to 100 kilometers per hour forecast to hit the islands.
Las Palmas are in a relegation battle currently in 18th a point from safety. However Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is not taking anything for granted as his side make the long journey to Gran Caneria saying yesterday “Las Palmas are a tough opponent. It will not be difficult take the ball off them, and there will times where it will be tough.” Las Palmas coach Quique Setien believes his side need to be “more effective up front” and hope Barca have an “off day”. Barcelona’s win on Wednesday saw them move six points clear of Atletico Madrid in second and continued their unbeaten streak now 31 games unbeaten. However,Las Palmas claimed a famous scalp in late January when they defeated Celta Vigo in the Estadio Gran Canaria.
FC Barcelona’s 18 man squad is as follows: Ter Stegen,Bravo,Alves,Vidal,Mascherano,Vermaelen,Bartra,Mathieu,Alba,Iniesta,Rakitic,Roberto,Turan,Messi,Suarez,Neymar,Munir and Sandro. Luis Enrique is without the suspended Sergio Busquets who misses this encounter due to his accumulation of 5 yellow cards. He also opted to leave Gerard Pique,Jordi Masip,Douglas and Adraino out of the squad.
Las Palmas will look to cause a shock today and weather conditions could help their efforts. When the sides met in September a Luis Suarez brace gave Barcelona the victory despite a late Jonathon Viera goal for the visitors. Lionel Messi injured his knee early on in that game which saw him sidelined for 8 weeks. Barcelona’s attacking trio come into this game in flying form and Las Palmas have conceded 38 goals this season which doesn’t bode well for the home side.
The match kickoff is at 3pm GMT and is available via deferred coverage on Sky Sports from 5:15pm.