Barça can go out and enjoy the feeling of playing a game as league champions following Real Madrid’s draw at Espanyol last night. The opposition are Atlético Madrid (19.00, Gol T and Canal+ Liga) and the Catalans will be looking for a win to add to the joy of mathematically being confirmed champions the night before. A win tonight would also move Barcelona one step closer to ending the season with 100 points.
No Valdés or Abidal
Tito Vilanova has taken his whole squad, even the injured players, to Madrid in the knowledge that this could be a very special weekend indeed. That means that the sidelined Puyol and Mascherano will be joined in the Vicente Calderón stands by Valdés and Abidal. The goalkeeper has failed to recover in time from plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and added to his woes by pulling a calf muscle in training. Barça B stopper Jordi Masip has been added to the squad as cover. Éric Abidal also misses out on the game after damaging his left soleus muscle.
But Tito Vilanova is able to welcome back Pedro Rodríguez after the Canary Islander missed the last league outing with gastroenteritis.
Atlético focused on the cup
Barça face an Atlético Madrid side that already knows that, come what may, they’ll be finishing third in the league table this year. Instead, the mattress-makers’ primary concern right now is the Copa del Rey final next Friday May 17 against city rivals Real Madrid. That means that although the only major forced absentee in Diego Simone’s squad is Mario Suárez, the Argentinian coach may well decide to rest some of his most important players this evening.