Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has warned his players against sloppy defending when the Catalans host Rayo Vallecano in a La Liga fixture at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barcelona will look to keep pace at the top of the table against a visiting side who are in need of points after an inconsistent start to the campaign.
Enrique in a press briefing ahead of the encounter believes the game tough, as always.
“Rayo Vallecano don’t let you have the ball easily and they make you very uncomfortable.
“If we aren’t sharp, they can take possession and control the ball. The key is to not lose the ball and to be good defensively. We will have to force them into making mistakes.” Enrique told the Barcelona official website.
“Having them not travel is something that suits us, because we need them to be in top form,” said the coach, while explaining that injuries are a headache.
“The idea is to keep an eye on the number of minutes players play, but it’s no excuse,” he emphasised.
While a return to winning ways will be the goal for Barcelona following their second league defeat of the season at Sevilla in their last game before the international break, Rayo who have had a sluggish start to the league season and are currently in 15th place, just a point above the relegation zone will hope for an unlikely upset
Since Rayo’s return to the top flight in 2011, they have lost all four league games at Camp Nou, conceding 19 times and scoring just twice in the process. In last season’s fixture they went down to a 6-1 defeat, Leo Messi scoring a hat trick, Luis Suárez a brace and Gerard Piqué also finding the net. Saturday’s visitors have only ever won once at Barça in the league and that came back in the 1999/2000 season when they left Camp Nou with a 2-0 victory.