MADRID - Brief news from the Primera Liga ahead of this weekend's matches: Barcelona are keeping their concentration after Wednesday's 4-0 thrashing of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, midfielder Yaya Toure said ahead of the leaders' match at home to Recreativo Huelva on Saturday. "The league is not over and we have to keep working hard," the Ivory Coast international said on the club's website. Barca can stretch their lead over second-placed Real Madrid to nine points with a win. Barca coach Pep Guardiola said his side still had a long way to go to clinch the title, with nine matches left and 27 points still available. "It's clear that we will need a lot more points in the bag to seal the championship," he said at a news conference. "It's a good test and let's see what level we can respond at." Winger Arjen Robben and defenders Marcelo and Pepe trained on Friday and should be available for Real Madrid's match at home to Real Valladolid on Sunday, the champions said on their website. Fullback Sergio Ramos is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards, while midfielder Lassana Diarra has recovered from muscle tiredness that kept him out of full training on Tuesday and should also be available, the champions added. Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano said the third-placed club, who host struggling Getafe on Sunday, are close to meeting their objective of qualifying for next season's Champions League. "The mood is very good in the dressing room," the Brazilian said on the club's website. "We had some difficult moments but they are behind us." Sevilla are nine points clear of Villarreal in fourth. Villarreal defender Sebastian Eguren said the players needed to put the Champions League tie with Arsenal and last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Almeria out of their minds and focus on Saturday's match at home to seventh-placed Malaga. "Malaga are one of our direct rivals for the top spots and we have to keep that in mind or what happened at Almeria could happen again," the Uruguayan said on the club's website. Atletico Madrid midfielder Ever Banega said he wanted to remain at the club and hoped they exercised an option to buy him from Valencia. "Nobody has told me if the club is going to take advantage of their option to buy me," the Argentine said on the club's website. "Atletico is a great club and I want to carry on here." Atletico play at Deportivo Coruna on Sunday with both sides on 43 points along with Malaga. Valencia striker Fernando Morientes said the fifth-placed club's luck appeared to have changed and the mood was good ahead of their match on Sunday at Sporting Gijon when they will be aiming for a third consecutive win. "Everything is going our way now and the atmosphere is different," the former Spain international said on the club's website.
10 April 2009
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