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Match Preview: Barcelona aim to extend winning streak against struggling Las Palmas

FC Barcelona will be looking to maintain their momentum when they host Las Palmas in La Liga action this weekend, as they aim to keep their title hopes alive before the international break.

The Catalans are in fine form, having won their last three matches and extending their unbeaten run to ten games (7 wins, 3 draws). This impressive run has seen them close the gap to league leaders Real Madrid to eight points, setting up an intriguing title race in the second half of the season.

A key factor in Barça’s recent success has been their improved defensive solidity. They have kept four consecutive clean sheets in La Liga, a stark contrast to the earlier part of the season when they conceded 12 goals in six league matches.

In contrast to their hosts, mid-table Las Palmas are in a slump, having failed to win any of their last five outings (2 draws, 3 losses). This is their worst winless run of the season, and they come into the game with morale low.

Las Palmas manager García Pimienta will be hoping to mastermind an upset against his former club. The Spaniard spent a significant part of his playing and coaching career at Barcelona, and a victory at the Camp Nou would be a special achievement for him.

However, history is not on Las Palmas’ side. They have not won at Barcelona since September 1971 (2 draws, 17 defeats since then). Their recent away record of two draws and one defeat in their last three away games suggests they will have their work cut out for them.

Las Palmas’ defense could be their undoing, as they have conceded eight goals in their last two away matches. However, these defensive lapses seem to be an exception rather than the rule, as they have only conceded two or more goals in one of their last 12 away league matches.

Players to Watch

João Félix: The Portuguese forward has a knack for scoring early goals, having opened the scoring in four of his last six La Liga goals, including against Atlético earlier this month.

Munir El Haddadi: The Moroccan winger will be hoping for a successful return to his former stomping ground. Despite scoring three goals in this fixture in La Liga, he has never been on the winning side, including in the reverse fixture this season (lost 2-1).

Hot Stat: A Barcelona player has received the first yellow card in five of their last six matches.

Overall, Barcelona are the clear favorites for this match, but Las Palmas will be hoping to spring a surprise. The home side’s strong defense and attacking firepower should see them prevail, but Las Palmas could pose a threat if they can tighten up at the back.

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