Barcelona will hope for a comfortable Liga outing when they host bottom club Real Betis between UEFA Champions League quarter-final clashes.
Saturday's visit of the strugglers will be a welcome assignment on the back of a punishing 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou in midweek.
Neymar struck 19 minutes from time to peg back Diego's sensational opener and the nip and tuck nature of the contest underlined the likelihood of the battle for the Spanish title going to the wire.
It was the fourth draw between Barca and Liga leaders Atletico this term, meaning Gerardo Martino will be loath to see his team slip up before the eagerly anticipated season finale between the two teams in Catalunya on May 18.
The good news on that front is the wobble that brought consecutive away defeats at Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid as February became March appears to be a thing of the past.
The draw against Atletico ended a run of five wins in all competitions for Barcelona - a sequence including victories over bitter title rivals Real Madrid and city neighbours Espanyol.
Nine goals and two hat-tricks have seen Lionel Messi typically leading the charge during this period.
"With Messi on the pitch the story almost always ends the same way," said Martino after last weekend’s Catalan derby found a predictable match-winner, although his team enter this contest on the back off huge off-field controversy in the form of a 14-month FIFA transfer ban.
World football's governing body punished the Spanish champions for a breach of rules regarding the transfer of foreign under-18 players. The club has confirmed they will appeal.
By contrast, Betis' problems are all unfolding on the other side of the white line.
Rock bottom with 22 points from 30 games - eight shy of safety - their campaign appears destined to end in relegation.
Last time out, Betis suffered a crushing reverse after Lorenzo Reyes' superb opener at home to Malaga had them on course for restorative back-to-back victories.
Juanmi and Sergi Darder struck inside the last seven minutes to put the visitors 2-1 ahead - a sapping turn of events in itself before Ruben Castro passed up the chance to claim a point by thudding a penalty against the crossbar in the dying moments.
"Analysing the game, it's incredible to think we've lost, it's hard to explain. It was like a horror movie. You have to take your chances though," head coach Gabriel Calderon lamented.
Barca's current injury woes in defence may give Calderon cause for comfort, with Gerard Pique joining goalkeeper Victor Valdes on the sidelines after fracturing his hip against Atletico.
Marc Bartra is likely to partner Javier Mascherano in the heart of defence in Pique's absence.
|10||L. Messi||14' 86' 86'|
|Coach: G. Martino|
for Iniesta 79'
for Pedro 79'
for Xavi 88'
|Rodgers excited by Sterling development|
|Strinic close to finalising Napoli switch|
|Torres to join Milan on permanent deal|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic held to shock draw, rivals fail to capitalise|
|Wenger sings Song´s praises|
|Pochettino calls for bravery|
|West Ham could lose Allardyce - Sullivan|
|League One Preview: Saunders takes charge for Colchester clash|
|Aguirre denies any involvement in La Liga match-fixing scandal|
|Mourinho impressed by Koeman´s Southampton|
|QPR v Crystal Palace: Millen recast in familiar role|
|West Ham v Arsenal: Allardyce eyes further home comfort|
|Elusive Coppa Italia on Juventus´ wish list - Marotta|
|Jones eyes swift response|
|Millen focused on QPR clash|
|League Two Preview: Shrewsbury, Wycombe and Burton vie for year-end top spot|
|Mancini not expecting big-money signings at Inter|
|Tottenham v Manchester United: Carrick expects tough return|
|Pearson eager to see Leicester resolve|
|Newcastle United v Everton: Martinez demands clinical touch|
|Liverpool v Swansea City: Rodgers backs returning Mignolet|
|Bayern can still improve - Sammer|
|Warnock sacked by Palace|
|Aston Villa v Sunderland: No club too big to go down, says Lambert|
|Hull City v Leicester City: Pearson vows to keep going|
|Stoke City v West Brom: Hughes targets elusive back-to-back wins|
|Rodgers dismisses Balotelli exit rumours|
|Modric will not rush Madrid return|
|Dyche pleased with Vokes return|
|Southampton v Chelsea: Koeman vows to go on the offensive|
|A-League Review: Six-goal Gosford thriller, Victory leave it late|
|Manchester City v Burnley: Pellegrini warns against complacency|
|Dortmund can fight on two fronts - Watzke|
|Sterling hails improved Liverpool belief|
|Rosicky eager to build on QPR winner|
|Wenger: ´We made it hard for ourselves´|
|Kane: Spurs eye top four|
|Di Maria in doubt for Spurs clash|
|Ba left out of Senegal AFCON squad|
|Redknapp frustrated by penalty call|
|Wenger sees Giroud wrongs|
|Premier League schedule a ´disgrace´, says Poyet|
|Championship Review: Bournemouth stay top, Heskey scores on Bolton debut|
|Hughes lauds Bojan performance|
|Koeman: Saints marching on|
|Pardew rues referee error|
|Arsenal 2 QPR 1: Sublime Alexis secures the spoils|
|Martinez questions Walters decision|
|Poyet laments Sunderland mistakes|
|League One Review: Swindon cruise to win over Walsall|
|Irvine aware of need for improvement|
|United still doing ´very bad things´ - Van Gaal|
|Lambert proud of players despite Swansea defeat|
|Warnock bemoans Palace defence|
|Bruce hails Hull´s spirit|
|Pochettino relieved to come away with victory|
|Dyche: We had our pocket pinched|
|Monk hails Fabianski performance|
|Pearson demands greater concentration from Leicester|
|Kompany set for City return|
|Rodgers hails character after battling win|
|League Two Review: Ainsworth frustrated by Luton, Shrewsbury go top|
|Everton 0 Stoke City 1: Lacklustre Everton slip to defeat|
|Sunderland 1 Hull City 3: Triumphant return for Bruce|
|Burnley 0 Liverpool 1: Sterling wins it at Turf Moor|
|Leicester City 1 Tottenham 2: Eriksen piles misery on Pearson´s men|
|Manchester United 3 Newcastle United 1: Rooney extends hosts´ streak|
|West Brom 1 Manchester City 3: Three and easy for in-form champions|
|Swansea City 1 Aston Villa 0: Hosts break Boxing Day duck|
|Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 3: Mane marks return with star performance|
|Allardyce upbeat despite defeat|
|Van Dijk happy at Celtic - Deila|
|Table-topping Chelsea delight Mourinho|
|Chelsea 2 West Ham 0: Mourinho´s men ease to victory|
|Suarez enjoying Messi, Neymar link-up|
|A-League Review: Garcia rescues point for Perth, Adelaide up to second|
|Poyet calls for mid-season break|
|Van Gaal rules out Januzaj move|
|Rodgers: Balotelli may have to get used to bench|
|Lallana: I was trying too hard|
|Walker juggles music, football careers in Sweden|
|Song to face ´brother from another mother´ Fabregas|
|Adriano announces Le Havre deal|
|Pardew braced for Old Trafford test|
|Lescott unfazed by City reunion|
|Tskhadadze appointed Georgia coach|
|United to finish top three - Ferdinand|
|Allardyce: Stamford Bridge stalemate saved my job|