Angry Atletico Bilbao Storm Nou Camp
Cup revenge will also be on Athletic Bilbao’s minds when they travel to face Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barca dumped Athletic out of the Copa del Rey for the sixth time in nine years in January and need a similar outcome to prevent Real running away with the title.
The champions trail their eternal rivals by four points having also played a game more after a disappointing display in drawing 1-1 at Real Betis last weekend.
Barca bounced back to remain on course for a fourth straight Cup final by beating Atletico Madrid 2-1 in their semifinal, first leg at the Vicente Calderon in midweek.
And Luis Enrique’s men could be handed a double injury boost themselves as Andres Iniesta returned to training on Thursday and Sergio Busquets is nearing a comeback form ankle ligament damage.
Enrique has defended his decision to rotate his squad throughout a demanding January and February of league and Cup commitments with a return to Champions League action at Paris Saint-Germain on February 14 also on the horizon.
“Between injuries, suspensions and tiredness, there is no other way. I rotate or we don’t challenge in all competitions,” Enrique said this week.
Therefore, Rafinha, Arda Turan and Denis Suarez are all likely to feature after being left on the bench in midweek.