Luis Enrique calls on Barcelona to get even better in 2016

Barcelona head into their first fixture of 2016 with head coach Luis Enrique demanding they improve on their huge recent success over the course of the coming 12 months.

They visit city rivals Espanyol in the Primera Division knowing victory can potentially leave them three points clear in first place by the weekend's conclusion and maintain their status as favorites to retain the Spanish title.

After a year in which the potent combination of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar inspired them to five trophies - they followed winning the treble with the European Super Cup and Club World Cup, only unexpectedly losing the domestic Super Cup to Athletic Bilbao - and to a new Spanish record of scoring 180 goals in a calendar year, Enrique wants even more.

"I don't dwell on memories and 2015 is in the past," he told Barcelona's website. "Now I'm interested in 2016 and being the best again. That's what professionals do.

"Everyone can get better. The players, the coaches, and all the people that form part of this club.

"There is very little difference between Europe's big clubs and we have to keep working hard.

"We can enjoy being a unique team but now the objective is to forget the past and win the next game in 2016. We need to be in position to win trophies at the end of the season."

Barca presently have a game in hand on their rivals, but should they follow their recent Club World Cup success and 4-0 win over Real Betis by beating Espanyol, and second-placed Atletico Madrid fail to defeat Levante later on Saturday, they will have a clear advantage in first place.

Espanyol's last match ended in a 2-0 loss to Sevilla, and they head into Saturday's derby knowing they have not beaten Barca at home since January 2007.

They have, however, not lost at the Power8 Stadium since October 3, and have taken eight points from their four games since then.

Espanyol will be without injured duo Victor Sanchez and Jose Canas, with both players facing up to a month on the sidelines after picking up knocks against Sevilla.

For Barca, the transfer ban that has prevented summer signings Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal from making their debuts has now finished and it could be the duo will be given their bows in next week's Copa del Rey last-16 first leg - which is also against Espanyol.