MADRID - Brief news from La Liga ahead of this weekend's matches:
Atletico Madrid qualified for the King's Cup final on Thursday beating Racing Santander 6-3 on aggregate, and can celebrate the achievement with their own fans on Sunday when unbeaten leaders Barcelona visit the Calderon.
"It's brilliant to reach the final but we still haven't won anything yet," coach Quique Sanchez Flores said.
"Now we have to focus on La Liga... and we have plenty of time to be able to climb up the table."
Atletico, who are 12th, have only lost once at home to Barcelona in La Liga since they returned to the top flight in 2002.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola is likely to promote a youth team player to play at right back with five first-team defenders injured or suspended.
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is looking to end a goal-scoring drought. He has only netted once in his last 10 matches in all competitions.
Cristiano Ronaldo returns from his two-match suspension and is set to partner Gonzalo Higuain in attack when Real Madrid visit basement side Xerez on Saturday.
Karim Benzema, Christoph Metzelder and Pepe are injured but Ezequiel Garay and Marcelo have overcome problems and are available.
Xerez's new coach Nestor Gorosito has warned their visitors not to underestimate them just because they are bottom with only two wins to their name in their top-flight debut.
"I am sure when Real played (third tier) Alcorcon they didn't expect they were going to lose and to be knocked out of the King's Cup (in November)," the Argentine told reporters.
Villarreal's new coach Juan Carlos Garrido has injury problems for when Athletic Bilbao visit on Saturday.
Spain goalkeeper Diego Lopez and defender Joan Capdevila are injury doubts while striker Joseba Llorente and midfielder Bruno Soriano are suspended.
Snow and freezing temperatures in northern and central Spain are set to make for difficult playing conditions when third-placed Valencia visit Sporting Gijon on Saturday.
The matches in Santander and Valladolid are also likely to be affected.comments