Luis Enrique: Barcelona need a ‘very good performance’ to beat ‘strong’ Cordoba side

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has warned of the potential threat to the Primera Liga leaders' title charge posed by a Cordoba side who are five points adrift at the bottom and on the brink of relegation.
Lionel Messi, left, and Neymar, right, are expected to lead the line alongside Luis Suarez against Cordoba. Gustau Nacarino / Reuters
Lionel Messi, left, and Neymar, right, are expected to lead the line alongside Luis Suarez against Cordoba. Gustau Nacarino / Reuters

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has warned of the potential threat to the La Liga leaders’ title charge posed by a Cordoba side who are five points adrift at the bottom and on the brink of relegation.

Barca, who hit six goals past Getafe without reply on Tuesday, host the apparently doomed Andalusians on Saturday, when a win would stretch their advantage over second-placed Real Madrid to five points, at least for a few hours.

Real play at fifth-placed Sevilla later on Saturday in what is probably the toughest of their four remaining fixtures.

“Cordoba’s difficult situation makes them stronger and we are approaching the match like all the rest, independently of where the opponent is in the standings,” Luis Enrique told a news conference.

“When there are four games left, everyone has significant obligations and they are key matches in the championship.”

“I expect a Cordoba side even playing with freedom because their situation is tough and although they still have a chance avoiding the drop will be complicated.

“I have no doubt that we will have problems against them and we will need a very good performance.”

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As the season nears its climax, Barca are in with a chance of repeating 2009’s treble, when they became the first, and so far only, Spanish club to win the Champions League and domestic league and Cup titles in the same year.

They host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday and will seek a record-extending 27th King’s Cup triumph in the final against Athletic Bilbao at the end of this month.

“I am not here to comment on what our rivals do,” said Luis Enrique, who is in his first season in charge.

“We are focused on collecting points and if we win all our matches it doesn’t matter what the others do.

“I obviously prefer that our rivals, in this case Real Madrid, struggle and drop points.

“But what I am really worried about it that we win our match against Cordoba.”

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Published: May 1, 2015 04:00 AM

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