Luis Enrique’s Barça may be hitting top form right now, but the boss is well aware that Sunday’s visitors to the Camp Nou, Villarreal, are enjoying a great run themselves. Unbeaten in their last 18 games, Villarreal will be a tough test, though in his Saturday morning press conference, Luis Enrique insisted: “we’ll be looking to beat them and put an end to their run, but they are a tough opponent because of their footballing philosophy. They won’t just come to defend, they attack really well too”.
Luis Enrique recalled the difficulties his team had to come away with the three points from El Madrigal when the two met earlier this season and only late goal from Sandro finally gave them the win: “if we don’t press them, we’ll be in trouble. We had plenty of chances in the first game this season, but it was a hard job to beat them”.
After a hectic January, the players will have six days after the game against Villarreal before they play again and Luis Enrique explained: “this will be really useful to work on things we haven’t been able to deal with over the last few weeks. We are used to playing three games a week though and we manage the squad and the different options the players give us accordingly”.Neymar is with the right team to become an epoch making figure
Echoing team captain Xavi’s sentiments on Friday, Luis Enrique also defended Neymar and the rest of the players following the game against Atlético Madrid midweek: “all the players behaved perfectly. Neymar is playing his best football at the Club since he arrived. He’s with the right team to become an epoch making figure”. Declining to compare Neymar and Messi, the boss insisted: “Messi has set the bar so high with all that he has done, all that he is still doing and all that he will continue to do”.