Las Palmas vs. Barcelona: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IFebruary 28, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 24: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona  during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Girona at the Camp Nou on February 24, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

La Liga leaders Barcelona head to Las Palmas on Thursday night as they bid to maintain their seven-point advantage at the top of the table. 

Ernesto Valverde's side remain unbeaten in the league and go into the game on the back of one of their most impressive attacking displays, after they hammered Girona 6-1 at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

Las Palmas are in the bottom three, although they have picked up some promising results of late. Paco Jemez's side have won two of their last six, but Barcelona will still be huge favourites.

Here's a look at how you can watch the game, followed by team news and a match preview.

          

Date: Thursday, March 1

Time: 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET

Venue: Estadio Gran Canaria

TV Info/Live Stream: Sky Sports (UK), BeIN Sports (U.S.)

         

Team News

Las Palmas have lost centre-back Pedro Bigas to a long-term knee injury. Midfielder Gabriel Penalba will also miss out due to knee trouble and winger Momo has a muscle problem, per Transfermarkt.

Barcelona have problems in defence where they will be without left-back Jordi Alba due to suspension—Lucas Digne should replace him in the defence. Right-back Nelson Semedo is also out for five weeks with a hamstring injury, per Barcelona's website. Sergi Roberto should replace the Portugal international.

Gerard Pique is struggling with a knee injury and will be rested, according to Sport's Javier Giraldo. Thomas Vermaelen is likely to come in at centre-back, although Yerry Mina is also an option.

Valverde must also decide whether to start Luis Suarez. The striker is in superb form but is just one booking away from a one-match suspension, and Barcelona face a crucial clash against second-placed Atletico Madrid next.

            

Preview

Barcelona were back to their attacking best against Girona, as Lionel Messi put on a masterclass and Suarez scored a hat-trick. New signings Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele started together for the first time and added a new dimension to the front line. 

La Liga writer Andy West noted Valverde now has selection decisions to make:

The trip to Las Palmas may allow Valverde to experiment and rest players, which may be needed with Atletico Madrid up next on Sunday. Dembele may be given another chance to shine, and he needs to build up his confidence, per journalist Rafael Hernandez:

Las Palmas will also need to come up with a plan for Messi, who is having another extraordinary season. The Argentina international already has 22 goals and 12 assists in La Liga and picked up another record against Girona, per La Liga:

The hosts have improved since the arrival of Jemez in December, as shown by wins over Valencia and Malaga. The Las Palmas coach has already been asked how his team can beat Barcelona, per football journalist Sid Lowe:

Las Palmas are weak defensively—they have conceded 52 goals in La Liga this season and only Deportivo La Coruna have a worse record. Barcelona, meanwhile, have the best attack, and anything other than an away win will be a huge surprise.

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