Luis Enrique hopes Andres Iniesta’s timely return for this weekend’s El Clasico can spark Barcelona to victory.
Iniesta has been on the sidelines for the past five weeks due to a knee injury, but the Barcelona captain has returned to full training ahead of schedule and is due to be involved at the Nou Camp.
With defenders Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique also available after recovering from minor knocks, Barcelona boss Enrique is banking on those key figures making the difference against Real Madrid.
— Andrés Iniesta (@andresiniesta8) December 2, 2016
"The biggest news is that we're getting Iniesta back, which has extra importance since he's our captain," said Enrique.
“If there's one player who helps most with our style, it's him."
Barcelona are six points adrift of Real heading into this weekend’s encounter and although Enrique acknowledges the need to secure victory and close that gap, he does not expect the outcome to be decisive in the La Liga title race.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 3, 2016
"It's important to emerge victorious because they are a direct rival and we share similar aspirations,” he added.
"Beyond the final score, I don't think this game will be decisive in La Liga – we're only in week 14.
“In games like these, the standings have very little bearing on what happens out on the field."