Previews: Bilbao out to give Barca rough ride
Athletic Bilbao are well aware of what to expect form Barcelona after watching their exhibition against Arsenal in the Champions League during the week, and are not about to give them an easy ride when they visit the Nou Camp on Saturday.
"On Wednesday I saw they had to play a lot of football, so we'll have to close them down and tackle them hard because they aren't going to want that type of match," Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta told reporters.
Sixth-placed Bilbao are two points off the Champions league qualification places.
Barca are second on goal difference from leaders Real Madrid, who they play at the Bernabeu next weekend.
Lionel Messi missed training on Thursday with an illness but was back at work on Friday and Pep Guardiola is only missing the injured Andres Iniesta. Defender Eric Abidal could make his return after injury.
Kaka, Guti, Royston Drenthe, and Pepe all missed Real Madrid training on Friday and are not expected to make the squad for the trip north to play Racing Santander on Sunday.
Racing have the worst home record in La Liga and have lost Brazilian defender Henrique, on loan from Barcelona, to a knee injury for the rest of the season.
Sevilla's new coach Antonio Alvarez has said his side have recovered from a tumultuous few days and that a victory at home to Tenerife on Saturday will put them back on track after a run of eight matches without a win in all competitions.
"It all depends on a win on Saturday, this is the only way to truly rebuild the team's morale," Alvarez told reporters.
Sevilla are without injured midfielders Jesus Navas, Diego Perotti, and Didier Zokora.
Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan scored his fourth goal in as many games in their 2-2 Europa League quarter-final first leg match in Valencia on Thursday.
"It's important to score (away from home) and we achieved that, but there is still a long way to go. It's evenly balanced but we are at home for the return and there will be a great atmosphere," the Uruguayan told reporters.
Atletico host rivals for the European places Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday when third-placed Valencia receive Osasuna.
Real Valladolid's preparations for the visit of Villarreal on Sunday have been disrupted after fans barracked players during training accusing them of a lack of commitment. They are 19th with one win in their last 14 matches.
"I am the first to admit that we aren't performing to our best, but insults, threats and violence are not the way forward," coach Onesimo Sanchez told reporters. "If we love Valladolid we all have to pull in the same direction."