MADRID - Brief news from La Liga ahead of
this weekend's matches:
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo did not train with
his team-mates on Friday after sustaining a gash on his ankle in
Wednesday's Champions League game at Dinamo Zagreb that required
several stitches, the league leaders said.
The Portuguese is a doubt for Real's match at Levante on
Sunday, when Jose Mourinho's side will be seeking a third
win in three since the start of the campaign.
Midfielder Hamit Altintop, who joined from Bayern Munich
in the close-season, trained for the first time with the rest of
the squad while his Turkey team mate Nuri Sahin and Spain centre-back Raul Albiol remain sidelined, Real said.
Barcelona are not going to change their offensive-minded
playing style because of the draws they have suffered in their
two most recent matches, coach Pep Guardiola said on Friday
ahead of the champions' game at home to Osasuna.
Barca let slip a two-goal lead at Real Sociedad last weekend
to draw 2-2 and conceded a stoppage-time equaliser at home to AC
Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday in another 2-2
"I promise we will play like we played against Real Sociedad
or AC Milan," Guardiola told a news conference. "I only hope my
players behave like in the last two games."
Barca's Spain playmaker Andres Iniesta damaged a hamstring
in the Milan game and is out for a month, while Chile forward
and new signing Alexis Sanchez and Spain centre-back Gerard
Pique are still recovering from muscle injuries.
Captain Carles Puyol could make his first start since
undergoing knee surgery in June.
Osasuna coach Jose Luis Mendilibar, who replaced the
sacked Jose Antonio Camacho in February, holds out little hope
for his team at the Nou Camp.
"With Barcelona you don't know how to play them," Mendilibar
told a news conference on Friday.
"If you push up on them they'll knock eight past you. If you
sit back the same.
"What's more, statistically speaking, having drawn their
last two games it's hard to see them not winning the third."
Second-placed Valencia, level with Real on six points but
with an inferior goal difference, will be without Mehmet Topal
for their match at Sporting Gijon on Saturday.
The Turkish midfielder has a small tear in a shoulder muscle
and will be under observation for the next two to three weeks,
the club said on their website.
Villarreal's players are itching to get back on the pitch
and demonstrate their quality following Wednesday's Champions
League defeat at home to Bayern Munich, coach Juan Carlos
"We are going to show that we are still a great team,"
Garrido told a news conference ahead of Saturday's match at
"When you lose you should show your best side and I am sure
we will see the best Villarreal in the coming matches."
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