MADRID - Brief news from La Liga ahead of this weekend's matches:
Barcelona need patience to get back to winning ways after drawing with Villarreal in the league and losing to Sevilla in the King's Cup in their last two matches, according to midfielder Sergio Busquets.
"We had the ill luck to start 2010 without winning either of the matches we have played but there is no reason for concern," the Spain international told a news conference on Thursday. "Patience. For sure the results will come soon."
Barca top the La Liga standings with 40 points from 16 matches ahead of Sunday's game at promoted Tenerife, two more than Real Madrid in second, who host fourth-placed Real Mallorca on Sunday.
Sunday's match will be a special occasion for Barca forward Pedro, who was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He told a news conference on Friday he would not celebrate if he scored a goal.
"I won't do it out of respect for all the people in Tenerife who have helped me," the 22-year-old said.
"The majority of them are Barca fans but on Sunday they will be supporting Tenerife to the death."
Barca had been unable to maintain the superb form they showed in winning an unprecedented six trophies in 2009, Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas told Friday's Marca newspaper.
"What is clear is that they are human and they are also unable to stay at the same level," Casillas said. "Last year they were at nine out of 10 and now it seems they are at eight."
Real coach Manuel Pellegrini is without the suspended Lassana Diarra and Sergio Ramos but should have Brazilian playmaker Kaka back in the squad after injury.
Midfielders Rafael van der Vaart and Guti trained normally on Friday and should also be available.
Mallorca may not be in the best position financially but coach Gregorio Manzano is counting on the supporters to help the team achieve success this season.
"I know that the economic situation doesn't warrant setting off any fireworks but it doesn't merit a funeral procession either," Manzano wrote on his blog.
"Therefore we are relying on the support of all Mallorca fans so that we are united for what may be a great season."
Sevilla winger Jesus Navas is recovering well from a knock he picked up in Tuesday's 2-1 Cup win at Barca, although defender Sebastien Squillaci is out of Saturday's match at home to Racing Santander, the fifth-placed club said on their website.
Coach Manolo Jimenez also has Adriano Correia and Javi Varas available and new signing Marius Stankevicius, on loan from Sampdoria until the end of the season, could make his debut.
Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores sent his players on a run through the woods in the snow on Thursday after their 3-0 humbling at second-division Recreativo Huelva in Wednesday's King's Cup last-16 first-leg.
Sanchez Flores has included Sergio Aguero in the squad for Saturday's match at Real Valladolid as the Argentina striker continues his recovery from a muscle injury.
"He is full of desire and he knows he is an inspiration for the rest of the group," the coach said at a news conference on Friday. "We are expecting his return."