Luis Enrique aiming to halt Villarreal progress

Barcelona out to end Villarreal's impressive unbeaten form in La Liga on Sunday, says Luis Enrique.

Luis Enrique knows Barcelona must be at the top of their game if they are to become the first team to beat Villarreal since early November on Sunday.

The Catalan giants welcome Villarreal to Camp Nou with the visitors unbeaten in their last 18 games in all competitions – 10 in the league as they have moved within three points of the top four.

That run includes a victory over Atletico Madrid in December, and Luis Enrique says Barca must not allow them time on the ball if they are to keep pace with Real Madrid in La Liga.

"The run of wins says it all about Marcelino [Villarreal coach] and his team," he said. 

"It will be a difficult game because they manage the ball well, they defend very good and it makes them get good results. 

"It is a spectacular run of wins which we hope to end.

"We need to pressure them. The first game against them this season was difficult, despite that we had a good game, but they made us work for it and we only won right at the end. 

"We had plenty of chances, but they are a team not just good in defence, also in attack, and they always make pressure. We have to make sure we are effective in putting them under pressure."

Barca need to record a fourth-straight league win if they are to stay in touch with Real at the top of the table.

Carlo Ancelotti's side moved four points clear on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Real Sociedad, while Atletico moved level with Barca as they beat Eibar 3-1.