Barcelona bid to extend lead at top of Primera Division against Las Palmas

19 February 2016 10:23

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insists the Primera Division title race is far from over as the leaders bid to extend their advantage away to struggling Las Palmas on Saturday.

Two wins in a week have maintained the favourites' six-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, with rivals Real Madrid a further point behind.

But despite his side's recent high-scoring form, Luis Enrique is adamant the job is far from done - and Las Palmas represent a real threat as they bid to dig their way out of the relegation zone.

Luis Enrique told a press conference: "The three teams are capable of slipping up at any moment, and neither the players nor the staff believe that the league is over.

"Las Palmas are a tough opponent. It will be difficult to take the ball off them and it will be tough, but if anyone has demonstrated they are capable of playing every three days, it is us."

Atletico start a tough week at home to Villarreal on Sunday, after which they face a return to Champions League action against PSV before next weekend's Madrid derby.

Successive wins over Eibar and Getafe have helped Diego Simeone's side recover from their recent slump but he will know his side must improve in order to see off Sunday's visitors.

Marcelino's men go into the game off the back of Thursday's 1-0 UEFA Europa League win over Napoli which came at a price with Jonathan dos Santos ruled out with a leg injury.

The Villarreal boss said: "I am already thinking about Sunday. We know it is going to be difficult, but what we're not going to do is throw away the game."

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane admits it will be "difficult" to make up his side's seven-point deficit to Barcelona, but says they will not stop trying as they head to Malaga on Sunday.

Zidane's men had some time off after their midweek Champions League win in Rome and will be expected to see off a side beaten at Villarreal last week.

Also on Saturday, sixth-placed Eibar look to boost their European aspirations when they travel to eighth-placed Celta Vigo, Espanyol meet Deportivo La Coruna and Real Betis take on fellow strugglers Sporting Gijon.

Gary Neville will hope to endear himself further to Valencia fans when his improving side travel to take on second-bottom Granada on Sunday.

Neville finally got his first win - over Espanyol last Saturday - and his side followed it up with an emphatic 6-0 Europa League victory over Rapid Vienna in midweek.

Fifth-placed Seville travel to Rayo Vallecano while Athletic Bilbao meet Real Sociedad at the Estadio San Mames.

Source: PA

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