Previews: Ronaldo remains banned for Real

MADRID - Brief news from La Liga ahead of this weekend's matches:

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Saturday's La Liga match at home to Espanyol after Spain's Sporting Disciplinary Committee (CEDD) declined to rule on the club's appeal against his ban.

"The CEDD will not rule today, as planned, on the appeal presented by Real Madrid against the two-match ban imposed on the player," Real said in a statement on their website on Friday.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) suspended Ronaldo for two matches after he was sent off for catching a Malaga player in the face with a flailing arm and he served the first half of the ban in last weekend's 3-1 win at Deportivo La Coruna.

Ronaldo is an important player for Real but there is enough quality in the squad to cope without him, coach Manuel Pellegrini told a news conference on Friday.

"Ronaldo is a fundamental player but without him we have been up among the league leaders and we have won important games," the Chilean said. "This is an impressive squad with great players."

Barcelona, undefeated in the league and five points clear of Real at the top, will have to do without captain Carles Puyol for Saturday's visit of Getafe as the Spain central defender is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards.

Puyol was missing for Barca's only two losses this season, in the Champions League against Rubin Kazan and in their King's Cup last-16 first-leg against Sevilla.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola should have Daniel Alves available after he rested the Brazil right back for last weekend's 1-0 win at Sporting Gijon.

Alves was suffering from a leg-muscle strain but trained as normal on Friday, the club said on their website.

Barca's Ukrainian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy, who joined from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer, is certain he will be a success after suffering a patchy start to his stint with the European champions and being whistled by the fans.

"I have needed more time to adapt than I expected but I knew that it would not be easy to get a regular place in the side," he said at a news conference on Thursday.

"The last week has been very good for me and my level and my spirit have been improving."

Sevilla and Brazil striker Luis Fabiano says his obsession is to go to the World Cup in South Africa with one title already in the bag and third place in La Liga secured.

"I am very happy living in Seville and I am focusing on the Champions League, La Liga and the King's Cup, and later going to the World Cup, and then I will return to my club," he said at a news conference on Thursday.

Fabiano tweaked a muscle in his chest in Wednesday's 2-0 Cup win over Getafe but should be fit for Sunday's game at Real Zaragoza as Sevilla look to close the three-point gap to third-placed Valencia.

Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores is hoping Thursday's 4-0 drubbing of Racing Santander in their King's Cup semi-final first-leg will serve as a springboard toward more consistency in the league.

"Now we want to repeat (this performance) in successive matches and have some continuity in our level of play," Sanchez Flores said at a news conference.

Atletico, in 13th spot in the standings on 23 points, play Racing again in the league on Sunday and their Cup second-leg is on Thursday in Santander.

Real Mallorca's financial problems will not affect the players as they bid for a 10th home win in 10 on Sunday against Villarreal, goalkeeper Dudu Aouate told the Balearic Islands club's website.

"When a professional goes out on to the pitch he is thinking only about winning and doing his best," the Israeli said. "The situation is not good but it won't affect us on the pitch."

Mallorca said this week they were in talks with creditors and they had three months in which to find a solution that will prevent them from going into administration.