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Despite being left out of the latest Spain squad, the Barcelona coach claims that his centre-back is fit to return against Villarreal this weekend

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique claims that Gerard Pique is in "perfect" condition and is set to make his season debut at Villarreal on Sunday.

The 27-year-old missed the opening game - when a Lionel Messi double helped them beat Elche 3-0 last weekend at Camp Nou due to a knock - and was left out of Vicente del Bosque's first Spain squad since their World Cup 2014 group stage exit.

Luis Enrique suggested that Pique's recent knock played no part in his absence for la Roja's selection, as he is back to peak fitness, and applauded the centre-back's ambition to return to top form.

"Gerard Pique picked up a minor hip injury, an injury which prevented him from being in perfect condition last Sunday," he told a press conference on Saturday.

"It kept hassling him but, since last week, I've seen him in very good condition. He's looking perfect. Was he not called up to the Spain squad because of the knock? Well he trained normally this week and can play tomorrow.

"I like it that Pique said he wants to become one of the best centre-backs in the world again, for my players to have personal challenges."

Another familiar Barca face is Xavi, but the midfielder was left on the bench for La Liga's opener and Luis Enrique refused to discuss whether he would bring in back into the action at El Madrigal.

"I have several options for Xavi's position," the coach responded when asked if the club skipper will start. "Each player has different qualities. Don't want to give anything away."

Andres Iniesta is one player who definitely will play against Villarreal no part due to knee discomfort, but Neymar has been given the green light and could feature in some form.