By 90Min
September 30, 2017

Coming off the back of a 1-0 win away to Sporting CP, Barcelona will be looking to pick up from where they left off in the league and maintain their 100% record.

Ernesto Valverde's Blaugrana have been incredibly impressive in the league this season, notching 20 goals from their first six games while conceding only twice. 

Las Palmas on the other hand have struggled somewhat, managing only two wins from their opening fixtures, leaving them ailing in 15th place, two points above Deportivo La Coruna in the relegation zone. With every point crucial for Pako Ayestaran's side, a win against league leaders Barcelona could be massive for La UD.


Classic Encounter

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Barcelona were clinical the last time they faced off against Las Palmas at the Nou Camp. In January 2017, Luis Enrique's side were tasked with catching fierce rivals, Real Madrid, in the race for the La Liga title. 

Fortunately, the Catalans made advances towards the league leaders by overturning Quique Setien's Las Palmas. Luis Suarez put the hosts ahead in the first half, before going on to double his tally for the day in the second half.

Lionel Messi, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal also got their names on the scoresheet, making it a comfortable 5-0 win for the Blaugrana.


Key Battle


Lionel Messi vs Ximo Navarro

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When it comes to attacking players, very few (if any) are more influential than Lionel Messi. The Argentinian genius has already put his goal tally for the season into double figures, scoring 12 goals from 10 games across all competitions, making him the most clinical player in world football right now.

After joining from UD Almeria this summer, Ximo Navarro will have to face perhaps the most challenging task he will be set all season; stopping Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp. 

The last time the 27-year-old Spaniard faced Barcelona in 2015, the Catalonians ran riot, with Messi scoring as they eased themselves to a 4-0 win against his former club, Almeria. Navarro will have to be on top of his game, with no room for errors if he is to shutout Messi.


Team News

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Barcelona continue to be without the injured Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha as they recover from thigh muscle rupture and a meniscus injury respectively. Otherwise, Barca will have a full-strength squad at their disposal to field against Las Palmas as they look to continue their winning form.

Las Palmas have suffered a  host of major injury blows, seeing Allen Halilovic, Loic Remy, Dani Castellano, Pedro Bigaas and Vitolo ruled out for the clash against Barcelona. Barca loanee, Sergi Semper has also been sidelined with a muscle fibre injury that will keep him out of action for up to another two weeks.

Potential Barcelona lineup: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Paulinho, Rakitic, Iniesta, Deulofeu, Messi, Suarez

Potential Las Palmas lineup: Chicizola, Michel Macedo, Ximo Navarro, Lemos, Herrera, Castellano Betancor, Aquilani, Tannane, Viera, Dominguez, Calleri


Prediction

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Cosidering Barcelona's remarkable form so far this season and Las Palmas' struggles in the league it is hard to see the Catalan's failing to pick up all three points. 


Las Palmas did pick up a shock victory against another Catalonian side earlier in the season, notching a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. However, their goal scorer form that day, Loic Remy, will not be available for Sunday's fixture.


There have been bigger upsets in football than Las Palmas scraping a win, but don't bet your house on it.

Prediction: Barcelona 4-0 Las Palmas 

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