La Liga Previews: Casillas backs Schuster
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has rallied behind coach Bernd Schuster, under pressure after the club's poor recent run and this week's shock exit from the King's Cup at the hands of third-tier Real Union.
"The whole squad is with the coach from start to finish," Casillas said on the club's website ahead of the champions' match at Real Valladolid on Saturday.
"We have always said we have to make a judgment at the end of the season," he added. "If things have not gone well then that's the moment to apportion the blame."
Six Real players are unavailable for Saturday's match. Striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is out for the season and his Dutch compatriot, Arjen Robben, is recovering from a muscle strain.
Midfielder Mahamadou Diarra also has a muscle problem and Ruben de la Red is still recuperating after he collapsed on the pitch last month. Central defenders Pepe and Christoph Metzelder complete the injury list.
Leaders Barcelona have three players out for their match on Sunday at Recreativo Huelva, with Andres Iniesta, Eric Abidal and Gabriel Milito all sidelined.
Striker Samuel Eto'o, the league's top scorer with 13 goals, said on Friday his best is yet to come.
"All the praise is making me more concentrated as that is when it easiest to fail," he told reporters. "When things are going well is when you have to keep a cool head."
Villarreal's Uruguayan midfielder Sebastian Eguren has urged his team mates to put the club's embarrassing 6-1 King's Cup aggregate loss to third-tier Poli Ejido behind them.
"We have to stay relaxed," Eguren told the club's website. "We have to lift ourselves and think of the future because there is a lot left ahead of us."
Manuel Pellegrini's side are second in the Primera Liga, one point behind leaders Barcelona, and have not lost a league match all season. They are at Malaga on Sunday.
Valencia forward David Villa will not celebrate if he scores against his former club Sporting Gijon on Saturday, strike partner Juan Mata said.
Villa, second highest scorer in the league behind Barcelona's Eto'o, began his professional career with Sporting before moving to Real Zaragoza in 2003 and then on to Valencia two years later.
"I know that (Villa) won't celebrate the goals if he scores because it's a very special match for him," Mata told Valencia's website.
Osasuna coach Jose Antonio Camacho said the Primera Liga strugglers were back on track after they knocked Getafe out of the King's Cup on Thursday, their first win of the season.
Osasuna, who have only five points from 10 league matches, play at fellow strugglers Athletic Bilbao on Sunday and could move out of the relegation zone with a victory.
"The philosophy will be the same, the work will be the same, but we are on the right track and there are a lot of matches and a lot of points to play for," Camacho, a former Spain coach, said on the club's website.
Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez h