Barcelona coach Luis Enrique does not fear Luis Suarez could miss next month’s La Liga encounter with Real Madrid due to suspension.
The Uruguay international has been booked four times this campaign heading into Sunday’s trip to Villarreal and faces a one-game ban if he picks up another yellow card at El Madrigal.
However, Luis Enrique sees no reason to keep Suarez out of his starting XI against Villarreal, with Madrid next up for the leaders.
“Suarez must approach the game against Villarreal like any other game,” the Barcelona coach said at a news conference, before warning a tough test awaits on Sunday.
“Ideally, I would always like to have all of my players available, but that’s not the way things work.
“Villarreal are one of the best teams around in La Liga. They are a very strong team and can dominate defensively.”
Barcelona will possibly have to make do without the services of Andres Iniesta on Sunday due to injury, but Rafinha is ready to make his comeback after a six-month spell on the sidelines due to a knee problem.
“Iniesta is feeling some discomfort. We will see how he feels and if he can play,” Luis Enrique added.
“We are not going to risk him. His injury is nothing serious, but we will see how he feels in training.
“Rafinha’s injury was a real blow for us. But we are very happy that he is back and that we can count on him in the decisive stages of the season.”
Sunday’s match will be a special encounter for Denis Suarez, who left Barcelona for Villarreal at the start of the season.
The Catalans have an option to buy back the attacking midfielder, but Luis Enrique is adamant they will not make a decision based on his performance this weekend.
“The future of Denis does not depend on Sunday’s game,” he stressed.
“We will evaluate his entire season with Villarreal.”