Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is in "good shape" to return to action for the visit of Villarreal on Saturday (6 May) as the Luis Enrique is expected to field his strongest line-up. The manager expects his side to secure their fifth consecutive win over Villarreal in order to keep the pressure on Real Madrid in the race for the La Liga title.
Iniesta is yet to play a game since the 3-2 win over Real Madrid in el Clasico on 23 April. The captain was rested for the 7-1 victory against relegated Osasuna and missed the following 3-0 win over Espanyol due to a muscle injury.
"He has been training well with the group for the last two days. He's in good shape," Luis Enrique confirmed in the press conference ahead of the game.
The Catalans are level on points with Los Blancos but currently lead the table thanks to the head-to-head record. However, Real Madrid still own the destiny of the title as they have a game in hand to play against Celta Vigo.
Barcelona thus cannot afford to drop more points in the remaining three games – with Villarreal, Las Palmas and Eibar – and the visit of the Yellow Submarine looks arguably the toughest.
Luis Enrique's side already were held to a 1-1 draw by Villarreal earlier in the season and the Barcelona boss expects a similar challenge on Saturday due to their strong defence, the second best in La Liga behind Atletico Madrid's.
"Villarreal are a team that present many difficulties in defence as they position themselves so well. At the same time, they create very dangerous precisions and are one of the toughest teams in La Liga," the Barcelona boss added.
"Villarreal are hard to get the ball off. We must defend very well. They are one of the most difficult teams to counter. They are strong in attack and they have a great manager."