Previews: Chygrynskiy set for Barca return

MADRID - Brief news from La Liga ahead of this weekend's matches: Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema joined Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo on Real Madrid's injury list, leaving Raul as the only recognised forward for their trip to Sporting Gijon on Saturday.

French midfielder Lassana Diarra will miss the game after being given permission to return home to attend to a family matter on Thursday.

Guti, Christoph Metzelder and Fernando Gago are back after injury while Paraguayan youth team striker Javier Acuna steps up to the first team.

Ukrainian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy returned to training for leaders Barcelona after a month out with a knee injury, and will be available when they host Real Zaragoza on Sunday.

His involvement would allow Carles Puyol to play at right back to cover for the injured Daniel Alves. Striker Thierry Henry is still recovering from a thigh strain.

Barca have drawn and lost their last two outings in all competitions.

Sevilla have lost midfielder Adriano Correia for a minimum of four weeks after the Brazilian tore a muscle in their midweek Champions League victory at VfB Stuttgart. The third-placed side are at home to Espanyol on Saturday.

Real Mallorca's top scorer with five goals Aritz Aduriz will miss the trip to face struggling Atletico Madrid on Saturday due to a badly bruised left thigh. He could be out of action for up to four weeks, the club said.

Villarreal's 2-1 defeat away to 10-man Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday was another missed opportunity for coach Ernesto Valverde to lift his side. They are bottom of La Liga without a win and host 19th-placed Malaga on Sunday.

"It's a tough situation but we have to roll our sleeves up and keep on trying. A draw would have been a fair result (against Lazio) but our anxiety to win has ended up costing us dear," club president Fernando Roig said.

Villarreal will be without French midfielder Robert Pires, who has been given a one-match ban for insulting the referee after last weekend's 2-1 defeat in Xerez. Defender Gonzalo Rodriguez is also suspended.

Athletic Bilbao's Aitor Ocio is out of the match at Getafe on Sunday after the central defender had surgery on a chronic shoulder problem. He is expected to be sidelined for up to three months.