Leaders Barcelona travel to bottom side Numancia in the Primera Division on Saturday while Real Madrid’s injury list continues to grow ahead of their trip to Deportivo La Coruna.>/h3>
Madrid trail Barca by seven points and Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo has drafted in reserve-team right-back Miguel Palencia because of injury problems. Ronaldo (toe), Zinedine Zidane (knee) and Míchel Salgado (knee) are all struggling for fitness, while Roberto Carlos, Raul and David Beckham are fighting a flu bug. Ivan Helguera is suspended.
Eighteen points below Madrid in tenth place, Deportivo have Lionel Scaloni, Aldo Duscher and César Martín doubtful, while goalkeeper José Molina is recovering from a back injury.
Meanwhile, Numancia’s on-loan midfielder Ramon Ros will be ineligible to take on his former Barcelona team-mates on Saturday. The visitors are waiting news on goalkeeper Victor Valdes who suffered a blow to the head during Wednesday’s Champions League win against Chelsea.
Elsewhere, the Seville clubs both have 41 points and fill third and fourth positions. Real Betis, who lead their neighbours on goal difference, are away to sixth-placed Valencia. Betis’s 15-goal top scorer Ricardo Oliveira will be relishing the meeting with his former employers. Sevilla entertain Racing Santander.
A point behind in fifth, Villarreal go to a Real Zaragoza side missing suspended forward Savio Bortolini. Espanyol, in seventh, will hope to make up lost ground at home to Albacete on Sunday. Elsewhere, San Mames is the venue for Athletic Bilbao’s encounter with Getafe, Club Atletico Madrid tackle Real Sociedad. Osasuna play Malaga, and Levante make the journey to Mallorca.