Struggling Valencia lose Costa to injury

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

Valencia suffered a new injury setback when Ricardo Costa damaged a muscle in training and the Portuguese defender was left out of the squad to host Real Zaragoza in La Liga on Saturday.

Costa joins David Albelda, Ever Banega, Pablo Piatti, Jeremy Mathieu and Sergio Canales on the injury list, though Argentina's Fernando Gago has returned from a neck injury.

New coach Mauricio Pellegrino is under pressure after a poor start to the campaign in which last season's third-placed finishers have slipped down to 15th.

"The season is still young but we need to win to get our confidence back," Brazilian striker Jonas told a news conference.

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta has returned to training with the group after injury ahead of the leaders' trip to play Sevilla on Saturday, but is unlikely to feature at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

With defenders Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol still injured, midfielders Javier Mascherano and Alex Song could return to the centre of the defence.

"Obviously, the difference between Pique and Puyol playing and two midfielders will always be there," Mascherano told daily Sport on Friday. "We will try to make sure they are missed as little as possible."

Champions Real Madrid, who are seventh, host promoted Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday looking to recover from their early-season wobble, and will have one eye on next weekend's 'clasico' at the Nou Camp.

Kaka's midweek hat-trick against Millonarios in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy, and his recall to the Brazil squad, have had local media speculating whether Jose Mourinho will give him his first official minutes this season against Depor.

Second-placed Atletico Madrid will be monitoring the fitness of La Liga's leading scorer Radamel Falcao (7 goals) and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois ahead of their visit to lowly Espanyol on Sunday.

In-form Colombia striker Falcao has been struggling with a thigh strain for the last week and played only the first halves of their wins against Valladolid and Real Betis. Belgium's Courtois missed the Betis game with a knee problem.

Real Mallorca's impressive start to the season has them third in the standings, four points behind the leaders. They visit Getafe on Monday without defender Javi Marquez who is out for up to three months with a broken left ankle.

Real Sociedad host Athletic Bilbao for the Basque derby on Saturday without first-choice goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who fractured his arm and had surgery during the week.

The club have not said how long the Chile international will be out of action.