PREVIEW: Barca to begin title celebrations

Barcelona will be looking to begin their La Liga title celebrations at Atletico Madrid on Sunday after being handed on Saturday evening.

Pedro scored the decisive away goal.

Needing to win to keep alive the title race for one more week, defending champions Real Madrid could only manage a 1-1 draw at Espanyol, meaning Barca now have an unassailable lead at the top of the table.

But even before they were handed the title, midfielder Sergio Busquets was confident they would be able to get the job done against the Rojiblancos.

Busquets told reporters: "We are ready to win the match on Sunday.

"To win a title is always special and important and the league even more. It would be the fourth league title in five years and it would be spectacular."

Busquets added: "I have no doubt that if champions, we should be celebrated with a parade through the city and a party at the stadium."

Barcelona have been close to securing the title in the last couple of weeks and Busquets is aware of the pressure created by expectation.

He added: "We have felt like this for weeks. It's the best thing to do because we deserve (the title)."

Busquets has ruled out surgery to fix his groin problem, adding: "The injury is very complicated because some days are better than others."

Pedro and Victor Valdes should be available having returned to action after missing the last game against Real Betis.

Atletico Madrid ensured they would finish no lower than third, securing a spot in the Champions League, by winning 3-1 at Celta Vigo on Wednesday.

But Atletico can also secure second spot so a win against Barcelona would be high on their agenda as well.

The three teams in the Europa League places - Valencia, Malaga and Real Betis - are all in action on Sunday.

Fifth-placed Valencia visit Rayo Vallecano, Malaga are at home to Sevilla and seventh-placed Real Betis are at home to Celta Vigo, who need points as they bid to climb out of the bottom three.

Real Sociedad occupy a Champions League qualifying place and on Monday take on a Granada team needing a win to put more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

In Saturday's other games, Athletic Bilbao took a giant step towards sealing their top-flight status after overcoming nine-man Real Mallorca with a 2-1 win at San Mames, while Real Valladolid guaranteed survival for another season after beating Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 at the Jose Zorilla Stadium.

Alejandro Arribas struck a second-half winner to earn Osasuna a potentially priceless 1-0 victory against Getafe in their fight to avoid the drop, while on Friday, Levante held on to a 0-0 draw at home to Real Zaragoza despite being reduced to nine men in their La Liga match at Ciudad de Valencia.

Sunday's La Liga Fixtures

Rayo Vallecano vs Valencia

Real Betis vs Celta Vigo

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

Malaga vs Sevilla

Monday's La Liga Fixture

Real Sociedad vs Granada

Saturday's La Liga Results

Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Real Mallorca

Real Valladolid 1-0 Deportivo La Coruna

Osasuna 1-0 Getafe

Espanyol 1-1 Real Madrid

Friday's La Liga Result

Levante 0-0 Real Zaragoza



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