BARCELONA, España (AP) — La liga española oficia casi de descanso para el Barcelona, líder absoluto del campeonato con 12 puntos de ventaja sobre el Atlético de Madrid y pendiente de resolver otros asuntos capitales como su clasificación a los cuartos de final de la Liga de Campeones o superar la semifinal de Copa del Rey ante el Real Madrid.

El Madrid marcha tercero sin mayor aspiración que ganar el clásico liguero a los azulgranas del próximo 2 de marzo y, cómo no, eliminar al Barsa de la copa para seguir optando a uno de los tres grandes títulos de la temporada.

La Champions continúa siendo el gran objetivo "merengue", aunque de difícil abordaje tras conceder el miércoles un empate, 1-1, en casa en el choque de ida por los octavos de final contra el Manchester United.

Es por ello que el cotejo por la 24ta fecha del domingo ante el Rayo Vallecano, más allá de la rivalidad ciudadana, no presenta grandes alicientes deportivos para el Madrid, desentendido parcialmente del torneo desde hace semanas.

Algo parecido le ocurre al Barsa, goleador del Getafe por 6-1 la fecha anterior, con la visita del sábado a Granada: su principal objetivo es no sufrir bajas de cara al viaje del miércoles a Milán, donde le espera el siete veces campeón continental.

Tras el partido en Granada, el cuadro azulgrana afronta un tramo complicado con el choque de Champions, la visita del Sevilla por la 25ta fecha y los dos cruces consecutivos con el Madrid por la copa y la liga.

Así las cosas, el torneo doméstico se antoja más bien un escenario propicio para alimentar el duelo individual entre los dos máximos cañoneros, el azulgrana Lionel Messi (35 dianas), en pleno récord de fechas seguidas con gol (13) y Cristiano Ronaldo (24 redes), autor de un triplete el pasado sábado contra el Sevilla y del tanto que niveló el marcador con el Man U.

La baja de David Villa por cálculos renales es la única preocupación en el Barsa, que reservara a Xavi Hernández para Milán, mientras que José Mourinho no podrá contar con el argentino Gonzalo Higuaín, Alvaro Arbeloa o Luka Modric ante el Rayo por sanción.

Previo a ese partido y después de participar el jueves en la Liga Europa, el Atlético jugará en Valladolid, equipo al alza con vistas a pelear otros objetivos que no sean la permanencia. El goleador colombiano Radamel Falcao marcó de penal la fecha anterior, pero el Atlético necesita recuperar su mejor versión de cara al último tramo del campeonato para mantenerse segundo.

La fecha inicia el viernes con la visita del Deportivo La Coruña, colista y con nuevo entrenador, Fernando Vázquez, a la cancha de un Sevilla que regresó goleado del estadio del Madrid la pasada fecha.

Getafe y Celta de Vigo abrirán la programación sabatina, que se completa con el cotejo Osasuna-Zaragoza y donde destaca el duelo entre el Málaga del chileno Manuel Pellegrini y el Athletic de Bilbao del argentino Marcelo Bielsa, en espiral negativa tras la paliza que le endosó en su casa el Espanyol el pasado domingo. Pellegrini, pendiente de su propio compromiso de Champions ante el Porto el martes, no puede reservar a demasiados titulares si quiere conservar la cotizada cuarta plaza. "La Champions está muy reñida y tenemos los ojos puestos en el Athletic", subrayó el jueves el chileno Manuel Iturra.

Precisamente el Espanyol del mexicano Javier Aguirre aspira a seguir alejándose del descenso el domingo ante un Betis que compite por recuperar su plaza europea. Aguirre, sin el argentino Juan Forlín, sancionado, anda pendiente del retorno de Wakaso Mubarak de la Copa Africana, con retraso injustificado, pero espera que el uruguayo Christian Stuani siga rindiendo a buen nivel en su lugar. "Nuestro estadio es un fortín. Hemos logrado que los rivales nos respeten, pero queremos atar la permanencia", dijo Stuani.

La Real Sociedad, que suma los mismos puntos que el Betis, juega la mañana del domingo ante el Levante, a una victoria de alcanzar a ambos en la tabla pero con otro frente abierto entre semana en la Liga Europa.

El otro implicado en el descenso, el Mallorca, tiene el difícil reto de puntuar en cancha del Valencia, quinto clasificado y ansioso por sacarse la espina de la derrota ante el Paris Saint Germain por la Champions.

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  • Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Michael Essien (L) of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their second goal with head coach Jose Mourinho during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema gestures during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid vs Osasuna on June 1, 2013 at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU,PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Michael Essien (R) of Real Madrid CF celebrates with team-mates after scoring their second goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's midfielder Jose Maria Callejon (L) vies with Osasuna's midfielder Oier Sanjurjo during the Spanish League football match Real Madrid CF vs Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Michael Essien (L) of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their second goal with head coach Jose Mourinho (2nd L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's defender Nacho drives the ball during the Spanish League football match Real Madrid CF vs Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho drives the ball during the Spanish League football match Real Madrid CF vs Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the Spanish League football match Real Madrid CF vs Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ DANI POZO (Photo credit should read DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien (L) celebrates with Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho after scoring during the Spanish League football match Real Madrid CF vs Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-OSASUNA

    Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures prior to the Spanish League football match Real Madrid CF vs Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ DANI POZO (Photo credit should read DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Real Madrid CF head coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Real Madrid CF head coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 01: Real Madrid CF head coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 1, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-OSASUNA

    Real Madrid's Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien (L) celebrates with Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho after scoring during the Spanish League football match Real Madrid CF vs Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on June 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Alexis Sanchez

    Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez from Chile, left celebrates with various team mates after scoring against Atletico de Madrid's during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul White)

  • Lionel Messi

    FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina reacts during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Atletico de Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Lionel Messi, Emiliano Insua

    Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, right, is challenged by Atletico de Madrid's Emiliano Insua during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul White)

  • Andres Iniesta, Tiago Mendes

    FC Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, right, in action with Atletico de Madrid's Tiago Mendes from Portugal, left, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Jordi Alba

    FC Barcelona's Jordi Alba, right, celebrates Atletico de Madrid's Gabi Fernandez on goal with team mates during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Andres Iniesta, Tiago Mendes, Adrian Lopez

    FC Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, centre, in action with Atletico de Madrid's Tiago Mendes from Portugal, left, and Adrian Lopez, right,during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Diego Simeone

    Atletico de Madrid's coach Diego Simeone of Argentina reacts during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain Sunday May 12, 2013. Barcelona won the match 2-1. (AP Photo/Paul White)

  • David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Cristian Tello

    FC Barcelona's David Villa, left, Cesc Fabregas, center, and Cristian Tello celebrate Atletico de Madrid's Gabi Fernandez own goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Lionel Messi, Tiago Mendes

    FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, center, in action with Atletico de Madrid's Tiago Mendes from Portugal, left, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Jugadores del FC Barcelona reciben honores del Atlético de Madrid antes del juego en el estadio Vicente Calderón en Madrid el domingo 12 de mayo de 2013. Tras proclamarse campeón el sábado sin jugar, el Barcelona celebró con una remontada por 2-1 la conquista de su 22do título de la liga española. (AP Photo/Chema Rey, Pool)

  • Angel Di Maria, Karim Benzema

    Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria from Argentina, right, celebrates his goal with Karim Benzema from France, left, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Atletico de Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, April 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

  • Real Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Angel di Maria of Real Madrid celebrates with Alvaro Morata after scoring Real's 2nd goal during the La Liga match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at estadio Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Kaka (L) and Alvaro Morata (#29) of Real Madrid celebrate after Real scored their 2nd goal during the La Liga match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at estadio Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Pepe (R) of Real Madrid vies for the ball against Radamel Falcao of Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at estadio Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Kaka (R) of Real Madrid vies for the ball against Diego Godin of Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at estadio Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Kaka (R) vies with andAtletico Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Raul Garcia (L) during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Angel di Maria of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring Real's 2nd goal during the La Liga match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at estadio Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico Madrid's midfielder Mario Suarez (R) vies with Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / CESAR MANSO (Photo credit should read CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Angel di Maria (L) celebrates with Real Madrid's forward Alvaro Morata after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's players celebrate their second score during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's players celebrate their second score during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico Madrid's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao controls the ball during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ CESAR MANSO (Photo credit should read CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Argentinian midfielder Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico Madrid's midfielder Mario Suarez (L) vies with Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Kaka during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ CESAR MANSO (Photo credit should read CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's goalkeeper Diego Lopez (L) catches the ball during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ CESAR MANSO (Photo credit should read CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga

    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Pepe (R) of Real Madrid vies for the ball against Radamel Falcao (L) of Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at estadio Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe (R) vies with Atletico Madrid's midfielder Koke (L) and Atletico Madrid's midfielder Mario Suarez during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico Madrid's Brazilian defender Filipe Luis (L) vies with Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (R) during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico Madrid's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao (4th L) scores during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / CESAR MANSO (Photo credit should read CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico Madrid's midfielder Raul Garcia (L) vies with Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho reacts during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe celebrates his team's first score during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Atletico Madrid's Colombian forward Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on April 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)