Previews: Pepe & Henry ready to return

MADRID - Brief news from la Liga ahead of this weekend's matches involving Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal:

Barcelona forward Thierry Henry has recovered from a thigh strain and is available for Saturday's trip to Osasuna, the champions said on their website.

Coach Pep Guardiola has a full squad to choose from with the exception of long-term knee injury absentee Gabriel Milito. Barca, who are undefeated this term, top the standings with 22 points from eight matches, three ahead of Real.

Osasuna will try to make things hard for Barca but it's very difficult to surprise them, president Patxi Izco said on Friday.

"When they are on song there is no team that can stop them," he told Barca TV. "They play at an incredible pace that flummoxes their opponents because they can never get the ball."

Real Madrid defender Pepe has shaken off an ankle problem picked up in last week's 0-0 draw at Sporting Gijon and came through a full training session on Friday, the club said on their website.

Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart also trained as normal on Thursday and Friday after only managing gym work on Wednesday as Real prepare for the visit of city rivals Getafe on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo is still out with an ankle problem.

Pepe was banned for 10 matches after attacking two Getafe players during a la Liga match towards the end of last season but said the issue is all in the past.

"I paid for what I did," the Portugal international said in an interview with Friday's As newspaper. "It's up to me now to show what I am on the pitch."

Real midfielder Guti has denied reports in the Spanish media that he had a bust-up with coach Manuel Pellegrini at half-time in Tuesday's shock 4-0 King's Cup first leg defeat at third-tier Alcorcon.

"I have an incredible relationship with Pellegrini and he is one of the coaches I have connected with best," Guti, who was replaced at the break on Tuesday by Fernando Gago, said at a news conference on Friday. "He is 80 percent of the reason why I am still at Madrid."

Sevilla, three points behind Real in third, may be missing Frederic Kanoute for their match at promoted Xerez on Saturday after the Mali striker, who is struggling with a muscle problem, missed training on Thursday.

Atletico Madrid's players have been working hard with new coach Quique Sanchez Flores to iron out the defensive errors that have led to the club conceding 18 goals already this term, defender Tomas Ujfalusi said.

"The coach has told as that, given the situation we are in, all the players have to defend," the Czech said at a news conference. Atletico are one point above the relegation places on seven ahead of their trip to Athletic Bilbao.

Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla is out of Sunday's home match against Tenerife due to a slipped disk and will be sidelined for an unspecified period, the struggling club said on their website.

Ernesto Valverde's side, who were held to a 1-1 King's Cup first leg draw at third-tier Puertollano on Thursday, are in 18th place with six points and only one win.

Espanyol's Raul Tamudo and his two representatives had a meeting with officials on Thursday to discuss the unsettled striker's possible sale, the club said on their website.

The 32-year-old, who has been with the Barcelona-based club his whole career, made it clear he will only leave if he gets a satisfactory offer from another club, Espanyol said.