Real Madrid’s new loan signing Emmanuel Adebayor is hoping to make his Liga debut away to Osasuna on Sunday while La Liga leaders Barcelona could have full back Dani Alves back in time for the trip to Hercules on Saturday.
Alves is training again after recovering from a torn muscle while Barca captain Carles Puyol and winger Jeffren are doubts for the match against the only team to have beaten them in the league this season.
Third-placed Villarreal travel to play fifth-placed Espanyol on Sunday boosted by the return to training of Brazil striker Nilmar after knee surgery.
“I’m feeling much better. It’s a little early to return this weekend because I still need to do more work. I’ll be in a better state to help next week,” he said.
Fourth-placed Valencia are away to Racing Santander on Monday and have a doubt over winger Juan Mata who has an ankle knock. They have just signed Brazilian striker Jonas Goncalves from Gremio on a four-and-a-half year contract.
Athletic Bilbao, who climbed above misfiring Atletico Madrid up to sixth and the European places last week, can strengthen their position with a win at the Calderon on Sunday.
Atletico gave their backing to coach Quique Sanchez Flores during the week after a poor run. They expect to have Sergio Aguero and Jose Antonio Reyes back from injury. Atletico goalkeeper David de Gea has dismissed reports linking him with Manchester United after Edwin van der Sar said he would retire at the end of the season.
“Van der Sar has set the standard for an era. He has played at the top level for many years and I imagine they will sign a replacement,” the 20-year-old said. “On a personal level I’m very happy at Atletico and I will try to stay for many years.”
Sevilla, eighth, visit Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday with one eye on next week’s King’s Cup semi-final second leg away to Real Madrid where they need to overturn a 1-0 deficit. They will be without the injured Ndri Romaric and Sergio Sanchez and suspended Frederick Kanoute. The club are in the process of signing Chile midfielder Gary Medel from Boca Juniors and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Schalke 04.