A rested Barcelona will hope to capitalise on the fatigue of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid and fellow contenders Real Madrid this weekend.
Gerardo Martino afforded his players a day off on Monday and they visit Villarreal on Sunday having not played in midweek for the first time since mid-March.
Atletico and Real, by contrast, were involved in exhausting UEFA Champions League semi-final first legs. Carlo Ancelotti's side host fourth-bottom Osasuna on Saturday and Diego Simeone’s team visit Valencia the following day.
It has certainly been a positive week in Catalunya. They responded to three straight defeats by beating Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, took a step closer to extending Lionel Messi's contract, and had a transfer ban lifted by FIFA.
Encouragingly, Barca hold a nine-match unbeaten run against Villarreal, while Messi has scored six goals in his last four starts against them.
Villarreal made a superb start to their first term back in the top flight, but Marcelino’s men have won just three of their last 12 games to drop to seventh.
Atletico, four points clear of Barca, must overcome an examining hurdle to achieve a ninth successive La Liga victory, even though their opponents were involved in UEFA Europa League action on Thursday.
Valencia have lost just one of their last 12 home games in all competitions, while Atletico have not won a league game at the Mestalla in over 11 years.
Ancelotti's Real, six points off the pace but with a game in hand on the top two, face an Osasuna outfit unbeaten in four matches – just three days before a decisive trip to face Bayern Munich.
The Italian claimed Cristiano Ronaldo was "only 50 percent fit" in Real's 1-0 win over Bayern on Wednesday, but the Portuguese has since declared himself in "perfect condition".
Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla square off in their two-team tussle for fourth place.
Sevilla, three points behind their hosts, have won three straight league games largely thanks to five goals from Kevin Gameiro, but Bilbao have an in-form forward of their own in 33-year-old Aritz Aduriz.
Elche, unbeaten in eight home games and having kept clean sheets in the last seven of those, will strive to stride towards survival against out-of-sorts Levante on Friday. Two in-form goalkeepers could be central to the outcome: Elche’s Manu, who will be up against his former club, and Keylor Navas, La Liga's player of the month for March.
The following day third-bottom Getafe and Granada, five points above safety, host two sides who have very little to play for in Malaga and Rayo Vallecano.
Meantime Real Betis will be relegated if they fail to win at home to sixth-placed Real Sociedad.
On Sunday, second-bottom Almeria visit ninth-placed Espanyol while Valladolid travel to Celta Vigo in Monday's fixture.
|9||G. dos Santos|
for J. Perbet 14'
for Pina 35'
for G. dos Santos 82'
|Monk to meet with referee boss Riley|
|Parma v Inter: Crunch time for struggling Donadoni|
|Uchida extends Schalke deal|
|Liverpool must build on Swansea win - Rodgers|
|Hull City v Southampton: Koeman not worried about tiredness|
|Destro may consider Roma future|
|Raul completes Cosmos move|
|Bolasie working to adapt game|
|Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund: Kehl demands raised games|
|Bodmer pens Nice extension|
|Forest agree Ince loan|
|Simeone expected Atleti exits|
|Clark targets great escape after getting Blackpool job|
|Sakho ´touch and go´ for Stoke trip - Allardyce|
|La Liga Preview: Barca look to bounce back, Sevilla face Bilbao test|
|Icardi slams Inter boo-boys|
|Granada v Real Madrid: Ancelotti´s expectant side in red-hot form|
|Lorient v Paris Saint-Germain: Champions aim to stay in touch|
|Bundesliga Preview: Dortmund aim to end form slump at Bayern|
|Redknapp unconcerned over Ferdinand conduct|
|Atletico Madrid v Cordoba: Godin reveals Atleti motivation|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Strugglers Guingamp and Bastia face off|
|Ribery plays down supporter incident|
|Barcelona v Celta Vigo: Suarez set for home debut|
|Martinez praises influential Eto´o|
|Hernandez determined to shine|
|Kane hoping for starting role|
|Bonucci: Pitch not to blame for Juve loss|
|Pardew hails returning Taylor|
|Spain hit back in Costa row|
|Allegri slams Juve for Genoa loss|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: River Plate, Atletico Nacional grab leads|
|FC Dallas 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 1: Late penalty sends hosts through|
|Venezuelan Primera Division Review: Trujillanos triumph at Zamora|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: Bolivar reclaim lead, San Jose bounce back|
|Garcia not interested in Juventus´ loss|
|Copa do Brasil Review: Flamengo blitz Mineiro late|
|Guardiola: Hamburg ´surprised´ Bayern|
|Independiente del Valle 4 Universidad Catolica 0: Sornoza scores stunner|
|Paraguayan Division Profesional Review: Nacional extend Rubio Nu´s winless run|
|Ancelotti retracts Blatter criticism|
|Eredivisie Preview: Feyenoord-PEC a championship six-pointer|
|DFB Pokal Review: Leverkusen edge through on penalties, Bayern march on|
|Allegri unhappy with Genoa pitch and late goal|
|Bonaventura reveals ´lucky´ lob|
|Buoyant Pardew bullish after Newcastle triumph|
|Coupe de la Ligue Review: Late goal eliminates Marseille, Metz edge Nice on penalties|
|Pellegrini has defensive concerns|
|Serie A Review: Genoa shock Juve, Roma win again|
|Chelsea to face Derby in League Cup quarter-finals as Bournemouth host Liverpool|
|Inter 1 Sampdoria 0: Late Icardi penalty lifts Mazzarri|
|Genoa 1 Juventus 0: Antonini spoils Buffon milestone as champions suffer first defeat|
|Tottenham 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Lamela and Kane put Tottenham through|
|Stoke City 2 Southampton 3: Late Pelle strike seals Saints progress|
|Manchester City 0 Newcastle United 2: Holders stunned on home soil|
|Cagliari 1 Milan 1: Bonaventura´s brilliance rescues a point|
|Hamburg 1 Bayern Munich 3: Returning Ribery inspires holders|
|Cornella 1 Real Madrid 4: Holders coast to easy Copa win|
|Fulham appoint Symons on full-time basis|
|Monk to face no action over Moses comments|
|Defensive duo earn first call-ups under Hiddink|
|Sturridge eager to link up with ´misunderstood´ Balotelli|
|Ferdinand receives three-match ban for misconduct|
|Vale turn to Page to start new era|
|Isla rubbishes Italy return rumours|
|Return to training a fantastic feeling - Carroll|
|Indian Super League Review: Elano inspires Mumbai hammering, Atletico held|
|O´Neill names provisional Republic of Ireland squad|
|Thai Premier League Review: Buriram go top with one game to go|
|King commits to Leicester|
|Swansea appeal Fernandez red|
|Schalke yet to begin Boateng talks|
|Championship Preview: Rowett reign begins at Birmingham, Derby travel to Brentford|
|League Two Preview: Whitlow takes charge of Burton, Luton eye eight in a row|
|Rummenigge risks fresh Reus row|
|Cabella targets consistency|
|Song wants Premier League stay|
|Ancelotti slams Blatter´s Ballon d´Or comments|
|Ancelotti calms Bale fears|
|Toure expecting more Balotelli goals|
|Clattenburg to miss weekend fixtures|
|Rodriguez surprised by Isco|
|Mourinho frustrated with fringe players|
|A-League Preview: City seek to avenge derby defeat|
|Pellegrini assured City will improve|
|Lovren: Balotelli´s goal ´a relief for everyone´|
|Coupe de la Ligue Review: Bordeaux win derby, Montpellier crash out|
|Howe hails history-making Bournemouth|
|Monk wants Fernandez red overturned|
|League Cup Review: Balotelli on target in late fightback, Chelsea edge through|
|Dortmund moving in right direction - Klopp|
|Mourinho salutes Chelsea spirit after cup battle|
|DFB-Pokal Review: Bremen, Dortmund progress after welcome victories|
|League One Review: Preston and Swindon close gap on leaders|
|Sassuolo 3 Empoli 1: Berardi completes hosts comeback|
|Liverpool 2 Swansea City 1: Balotelli and Lovren rescue Liverpool|
|Bournemouth 2 West Brom 1: Wilson fires hosts into last eight|
|Shrewsbury Town 1 Chelsea 2: Own goal gives Blues victory|
|St Pauli 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Klopp´s men secure Pokal progression|
|Upcoming games decisive for Montella|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Hat-trick hero Vucinic inspires Al Jazira|
|Juventus must maintain concentration - Allegri|
|Calf problem set to rule out Huth|
|Kane has long future at Tottenham, says Pochettino|
|Inzaghi searching for consistency|
|Guardiola wary of Hamburg threat|
|Luis Enrique: Clasico defeat has helped Barca|
|Nasri set for City return|
|FIFA issues Ebola guidelines|
|Garcia: Winning the only option|
|Blatter offers ´unconditional´ backing to Russia 2018|
|CSKA sanction revised by UEFA|
|Ayoze claims Real Madrid and Barcelona interest|
|Cornella v Real Madrid: Champions begin defence against Catalan minnows|
|Del Bosque backs Costa to adapt|
|Mourinho blames Del Bosque for Costa problems|
|Shaw: We´re in the title race|
|Taarabt has QPR future - Redknapp|
|Real and Bayern dominate Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Skripnik: Bremen just need to play|
|Gignac to leave Marseille|
|Six Germans in Ballon d´Or contention|
|No Premier League loan move for Dempsey|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: League-leading River stay unbeaten|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Sao Paulo close gap, Cruzeiro stumble|
|MLS Preview: Wounded Sporting must bounce back|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: Wilstermann, The Strongest strike late|
|Ronaldo crowned La Liga´s best|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: San Simon break drought|
|Lambert: Villa conceded ´shocking´ goals|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Galatasaray thrashed, leaders Besiktas lose|
|Rio Ave 3 Penafiel 2: Martins´ men snap winless run|