Clásico on pause as Barça eye title
Barcelona look to build on their morale-boosting 2-0 UEFA Champions League semi-final win over rivals Real Madrid by moving a step closer to their third consecutive La Liga title with victory at Real Sociedad tomorrow.
Two goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona put one foot in the Champions League final with the triumph over Madrid on Wednesday and now the focus returns to the league where the champions need just seven points from the remaining five games to retain their crown.
Barcelona lie eight points ahead of Real Madrid at the summit with 88 points and are on course to potentially break the 100 points barrier and better the best ever league tally of 99 points, which they recorded last season.
"We are two wins and a draw away from being crowned league champions. After that we will think about the second semi-final [against Real Madrid] and getting to Wembley [for the final]." said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.
Zaragoza fight relegation
Real have it all to do in the semi final second leg at Camp Nou next Tuesday, but need to put the European disappointment behind them and focus on collecting three points at home to Real Zaragoza tomorrow.
In the wake of a third Clásico in 12 days, and attention surrounding Jose Mourinho's reaction after Wednesday's match, little has been said about Real Madrid's match against Zaragoza, who are fighting for their lives one point above the relegation zone.
Mourinho may choose to ring the changes with Gonzalo Higuain, Kaka and Karim Benzema, who were all unused substitutes against Barcelona, while Ricardo Carvalho is back after missing Wednesday's match due to suspension.
Barcelona may also rest stars with the return leg of the Champions League in mind with Messi, who has an incredible 52 goals this season with 31 scored in La Liga, likely to be given a break after picking up a knock in the Madrid game.
Valencia trail in third
Valencia are in a distant third, lying 17 points behind Real Madrid, and hope to put last weekend's 6-3 home drubbing by Mourinho's club behind them with a win at strugglers Osasuna on Sunday.
Valencia are favourites to seal third, and the automatic Champions League qualification it brings, with Villarreal six points behind in fourth place. Osasuna will be hungry for a win, however, as they occupy the final relegation place with games running out.
On Sunday Villarreal host a Getafe side that have been in the news with the Royal Emirates Group clinching a takeover of the club, but for now the Madrid-based club are battling to stay in the division, lying two points above the bottom three.
Elsewhere a return of ten points from 12 possible has helped Atletico Madrid challenge for a UEFA Europa League spot and the capital side travel to Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday looking to move into the top six.
Argentine forward Sergio Aguero has scored eight goals in his last six league games to push Atletico into contention and the club are level on points with sixth-placed Sevilla who travel to bottom side Almeria on Sunday. Almeria look doomed as they are just ten points from safety with just five games left to play.