MADRID - Brief news from the Primera Liga ahead of this weekend's matches:
Financially-troubled Valencia have secured a 50 million euro loan from a group of local businesses, the club said after a board meeting on Thursday, which is likely to see players paid outstanding wages owed from two months ago.
"It's positive news and a boost to morale," striker David Villa said.
Valencia host struggling Getafe on Sunday and can call on top scorer Villa who has recovered from injury.
Leaders Barcelona have only won once after four international breaks this season but midfielder Sergio Busquets, who made his debut for Spain in Turkey, said that was no excuse for failure at Real Valladolid on Saturday.
"It's always difficult to return to play just after international duty but it can also affect other teams like Real Madrid who have a lot of internationals as well. We can't use it as an excuse," he said.
Barca have Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta back from injury.
Real Madrid will have to make changes on their left flank in Malaga on Saturday with defender Gabriel Heinze suspended and Marcelo out with a muscle strain. Winger Arjen Robben was also ruled out with an ankle problem.
Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, who scored all four goals in Real's 4-3 win over Malaga at the Bernabeu in November, is likely to return to the starting lineup.
Atletico Madrid's Portuguese midfielder Paulo Assuncao returns from a ban at home to relegation-threatened Osasuna on Sunday. They are five points off the Champions League places after a surprise 2-0 loss at Real Mallorca last time out.
"What happened in the last game isn't going to happen again. We know our rivals have tough matches and we need to get back to playing the way we did against Barca and Real," he said.
Mallorca's top scorer Aritz Aduriz returns to face his former club Athletic Bilbao on Saturday with both teams embroiled in the fight to avoid relegation. The decision to sell Aduriz last year was deeply unpopular in Bilbao.
"My heart may be divided but my head is clear on one thing - I'll do all I can for a Mallorca win," he said. King's Cup finalists Bilbao have lost four games on the trot in the league.
Deportivo Coruna, who visit bottom club Espanyol on Sunday, have exercised the option to buy on-loan Portuguese defender Ze Castro from Atletico Madrid, the club said.
Espanyol have one win from their last 19 league matches and are eight points from the safety zone but midfielder Ivan de la Pena remained positive: "People might think I am mad, but I am sure we will save ourselves," he said.comments