MADRID - Brief news from the Primera Liga ahead of this weekend's matches:
Valencia won the King's Cup final against Getafe in the Calderon last year and have appealed for that same "cup spirit" when they return to play Atletico Madrid there on Sunday.
Fourth-placed Valencia hold the final Champions League qualification slot with three games left, one point ahead of Atletico in fifth.
"We'll go with the same enthusiasm as if there were a title in play. We won the Cup there so we have great memories of this stadium," defender Alexis Ruano told sports daily AS.
Suspensions deprive Valencia of captain Carlos Marchena and midfielder David Silva, while Atletico lose defenders John Heitinga and Luis Perea.
"Valencia and us have practically the whole season in play in this game," Atletico midfielder Raul Garcia said.
Second-placed Real Madrid have to win away to Villarreal on Saturday if they are to prevent Barcelona from being crowned champions without kicking a ball. Real are eight points behind the leaders.
Juande Ramos has problems in the centre of defence with Christoph Metzelder injured and Pepe suspended. Sergio Ramos or Gabriel Heinze are likely to deputise alongside Fabio Cannavaro.
Villarreal are three points short of the Champions League places in seventh. The normally placid Manuel Pellegrini lost his temper with the team for a lack of effort in training on Wednesday.
"We aren't in a situation where we can afford to give anything away, even in training," defender Diego Godin said. "The rap on the knuckles he gave us will serve us well."
Barcelona only need a point from their match at Real Mallorca on Sunday to be able to claim their second title of the season, if Real beat Villarreal.
They came from behind to sweep aside Athletic Bilbao 4-1 in the King's Cup final on Wednesday. Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta and Rafael Marquez are injured, while Bojan Krkic is a doubt.
Recreativo Huelva, 19th, have striker Marco Ruben back frominjury for the visit to bottom club Numancia on Sunday. Recre are one point above their hosts, three from safety.
"If we lose in Soria it will be almost impossible for us to avoid relegation. Numancia are in exactly the same situation which is good for us because it is all-or-nothing for both sides," Ruben said.
Real Betis have hidden themselves away in Portugal's Algarve region to prepare for the home match against Almeria on Sunday after angry fans pelted them with eggs as they left training on Monday.
Betis have lost four in a row and are 16th, three points above the relegation places.comments