Previews: Treble-chasing Barca eye league title

MADRID - Barcelona have the chance to win the first of three possible titles this season when they host Villarreal in the Primera Liga on Sunday.

The leaders are seven points ahead of Real Madrid, and hold the head-to-head advantage with four games left.

They need to win at the Nou Camp while hoping the champions fail to take all three points off Valencia, when Real travel to the Mestalla on Saturday.

Andres Iniesta's dramatic late strike against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday gave them an away-goal victory that put them in the Champions League final at the end of the month.

Before then, Pep Guardiola's side have a King's Cup final against Athletic Bilbao in Valencia next Wednesday.

"We have everything in our own hands. There's not far left to go, but it's all happening so quickly that we don't have time to take it all in," Lionel Messi said after the Chelsea game.

An unimpressive performance in London suggests fatigue may be starting to take its toll as the games come thick and fast, but records are there for the taking.

The 6-2 humiliation of Real at the Bernabeu last week put Barca on 85 points, equalling the highest points tally for a side in a 20-team Primera Liga. Bernd Schuster's Real Madrid set the standard with 85 points from 38 games last season.

Their 100 league goals so far are seven short of the record set by John Toshack's Real Madrid in the 1989/90 season.


Real are safe in second place, and have spent the week pointing out the league is not yet mathematically decided. But they face a tough task to lift themselves away to fourth-placed Valencia.

Unai Emery's side (56 points) are four points short of third-placed Sevilla with Atletico Madrid and Villarreal hot on their heels, in the race for the last two Champions League slots.

Sevilla host Real Mallorca on Saturday and Atletico, who are fifth with 55 points, are at home to Espanyol on Sunday.

At the foot of the table, the visit of Osasuna, 16th with 36 points, to Getafe, 17th with 34 points, will be eagerly watched by the three teams in the relegation places.

Getafe's new coach Michel lost on his debut last week, and needs to reverse a run of four defeats if they are to avoid slipping deeper into trouble.

Sporting Gijon (34) Recreativo Huelva (33) and basement side Numancia (31) all play on Sunday as well.