|Barça players train ahead of Las Palmas clash | Image: FCB|
FC Barcelona take on Las Palmas at the Camp Nou in their 18th Liga game of the season with an aim to reduce the deficit of Real Madrid at the top of the table to 2 points temporarily.
The Catalán giants were lucky to get a 1-1 draw against Villarreal last week thanks to Lionel Messi but will come into the game with full confidence after overturning a 2-1 first leg deficit to beat Athletic Bilbao 4-3 on aggregate to qualify for the Copa del Rey quarter final.
Coach Luis Enrique has named 18 players in his squad to face Las Palmas and one of the shock omissions is the leaving out of star defender Gerard Piqué who has been one of the club’s best performers so far this season. The defender is joined by Denis Suárez, Jordi Masip and Sergi Roberto who will all miss the game.
Midfielder Ivan Rakitic returned to the squad after sitting out the last couple of league games although it is still uncertain if he’ll start. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen who returned from injury recently also features. Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu also made the squad after not featuring for a long time.
BARÇA SQUAD VS LAS PALMAS
Goalkeepers: Marc André Ter Stegen, Jasper Cillessen;
Defenders: Aleix Vidal, Javier Mascherano, Jeremy Mathieu, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Jordi Alba;
Midfielders: Ivan Rakitic, André Gomes, Rafinha Alcántara, Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Arda Turan;
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar, Paco Alcácer.