FC BARCELONA vs UD LAS PALMAS: Preview, Team News, Prediction

Barcelona enter the final phase of the season, looking to cut the gap at the top in their bid to retain the title.
Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports
Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports / Diego Souto/GettyImages

After the final international break of the season, which lasted for 2 weeks but felt like eternity, club football returns for its final run-in this 2023-24 season. With 9 matchdays to go in La Liga, Real Madrid stands in a good position to secure their record extending 36th title, with Barcelona trailing by 8 points in second place.

FC Barcelona had a solid start to the season, but the team was caught off guard by the heartbreaking loss at the Clasico in October, which was followed by a slump in form and long-term injuries to crucial players. Xavi announced his decision to leave the club at the end of this season after another uncharacteristic performance vs Villareal in February.

However, ever since Xavi's announcement, the Catalan club has seen an uplift in performance and results and they head into the final 2 months of the campaign, very much alive in Spain and in Europe. Barcelona have a monster UCL Quarter Final tie with PSG in mid April followed by a potentially title deciding clash at the Santiago Bernabeu, days after the 2nd leg vs the Parisians at home. Victory at the Bernabeu might still not be enough to crown them champions come May, but Barcelona have to get over UD Las Palmas (and Cádiz) before the Clasico to continue mounting pressure on the league leaders.

Xavi’s side enters this fixture with a morale boosting 3-0 drubbing of AtléticoMadrid at the Wanda Metropolitano, a game that could be acclaimed as Barca’s best away performance under Xavi. The fact that this performance came barely 5 days after their phenomenal win vs Naples simply adds more glamour to their display. With Ancelotti's side refusing to drop points, Barcelona had an obligation to leave the Metropolitano with 3 crucial points and they played true to their manager's words. Solid in both attack as well as in defense, Xavi’s side is currently firing on both fronts.

Their next opponent, UD Las Palmas, are comfortably placed in the center of the table and have all but assured their participation in Spain's premier football competition next season. After being genuine contenders for a place in Europe, they experienced a rough patch and are now on a 5 game winless streak (3 losses) , losing each of their last 2 ties.

The two teams faced off in the first match of the calendar year and the team from Canary Islands went in with a well managed cautioned approach to make life miserable for Xavi's troops. Barcelona snatched a late, undeserved victory courtesy of Gundogan's penalty in stoppage time after having failed to create any noteworthy chances in the second half.

UD Las Palmas have been one of the better defensive sides in the league so far and former Barcelona B manager García Pimienta knows a thing or two about playing against his ex-club. The team from the Canary Islands might not have a lot riding on stake, but their fearless approach might catch Xavi's side by surprise. Barcelona under Xavi have struggled to make an impact after the international break but can afford no shortcomings for a single half of lacklustre football could prove to be the final nail for their title aspirations as we head into the most crucial and demanding part of the season. The players have shown their faith in their manager in the time of crisis and now it is time to ensure that Xavi Hernández gets a fitting farewell come the end of the season.



For the first time in what feels like ages, Xavi has all his players returning fit from international duty. Robert Lewandowski arguably played his best game in a Barça shirt vs Atléticocand, on national duty, helped his country Poland book a spot in this summer's Euros. The no.9 though might be rested for this very fixture. Lamine Yamal received a standing ovation at the Bernabeu whilst playing for Spain vs Brazil and Pau Cubarsí made a solid debut for the 2010 world champions. The three of them alongside MATS and Gündoğanshould be ready to start at home.

After receiving a positive heart report, João Cancelo has been cleared to play and will not miss the next game. Fatigue and injury concerns caused Ronald Araújo and Christensen to return early from national duty and they would probably be rested at the Montjuic. The manager himself was suspended because he talked his way into getting a red card last time around. Mikayil Faye has trained with the club and could get his debut appearance. Expect some rotations with the fixture against PSG in mind.

Predicted XI (4-3-3);

Marc-André ter Stegen, Jules Koundé, Iñigo Martínez, Pau Cubarsí, João Cancelo, Sergi Roberto, İlkay Gündoğan, Fermín López, Lamine Yamal, Vitor Roque, João Félix


The Canaries lost one of their best defenders Julián Araujo to a hamstring injury suffered in the CONCACAF Nations League. Manager Pimienta will have to make do without the Barcelona loanee but otherwise, the Canaries Gaffer has a complete roster of fit players to choose from. Defender Coco is back after serving his one match suspension and his role would be crucial to stop the likes of Lewandowski and co.

Predicted XI (4-5-1);

Álvaro Valles; Álex Suárez, Saúl Coco, Mika Mármol, Sergi Cardona; Munir El Haddadi, Javier Muñoz, Máximo Perrone, Kirian Rodríguez, Alberto Moleiro; Sandro Ramírez


Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 10 games in all competitions and have recently been on a scoring spree, failing to put the ball in the net only once in their stalemate at the San Mames. UD Las Palmas on the other hand have gone two games in a row without troubling the scorers and their losing streak isn't likely to be altered at the Montjuic.