Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez
Ernesto Valverde refused to confirm whether Luis Suarez or Lionel Messi could be rested against Las Palmas. Getty

Ernesto Valverde has refused to confirm whether he will rest Luis Suarez when Barcelona visit Las Palmas on Thursday (1 March) in order to avoid the risk of losing him for the weekend's clash with La Liga second-place Atletico Madrid.

Suarez has already been booked four times in La Liga this season and he appeared to try to pick up another yellow card during the 6-1 victory over Girona to ensure he had a clean slate for the clash with Diego Simeone's side.

However, the referee refrained from cautioning him and the former Liverpool star will thereore face Las Palmas knowing that another booking will see him miss the crucial visit of Atletico.

The Barcelona boss may consider giving his striker a rest on Thursday but asked about his plans during the press conference ahead of the game, Valverde just said: "We'll see. Do you want me to anticipate [the line-up]? We will see tomorrow. Each thing at it's time."

Valverde also provided a similar response when questioned whether the trip to the relegation-threatened could be a good opportunity to rest Messi and have him fresh for the game with Atletico.

"We'll see tomorrow. We have not played since on Saturday and have had a margin [to recover]. I do not want to look at coming games because this three points are very important for us to keep the [seven-point] gap [with Atletico].

"They are three points available against Atletico which are no more valuable than those against Las Palmas. There is no value in concentrating on Sunday's game if we do not win tomorrow.

The fitness of Gerard Pique has also been a concern among Barcelona fans since the centre-back picked up a knee injury during the derby against Espanyol on 4 February.

Valverde admitted following the recent Champions League clash with Chelsea that the Barcelona defender was still struggling with the issue and on Thursday (22 February) he was unable to train with the rest of his teammates.

Pique still made Valverde's starting line-up against Girona but in the second half the defender set alarms bell ringing again after being replaced by Thomas Vermaelen.

The Barca boss has now played down those concerns, claiming that Pique's substitution in the Catalan derby had nothing to do with his previous injury.

"He is fine. Yesterday [on Tuesday] he trained well. If he is playing, it is because he is fit. My idea was not to change him [against Girona] but he suffered a knock. But it has nothing to do with the injury that [he suffered] against Espanyol. There is nothing strange," Valverde assured.

Ousmane Dembele has also appeared to put his hamstring woes behind him after the France starlet completed the full 90 minutes during the win over Girona.

Valverde was positive about Dembele's performance but warned that he will still need to some time to adapt to become a regular starter at Barcelona.

"Emotionally I see him well. He trains well. Then the competition marks whether a player has more game time or not. There is a lot of competition in our club. Dembele played the whole game the other day. He has to try to be decisive in the attack and has to comply with the defensive obligations. He is taking steps little by little," the Barcelona boss added.