- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

MADRID (AP) - Athletic Bilbao’s challenge, as usual, will be to stop Cristiano Ronaldo.

Only a few days after reaching the Copa del Rey final, Athletic will host Real Madrid and the winger in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Ronaldo has 39 goals in 36 games this season, including the team’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw against Villarreal last weekend.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said that, barring unforeseen injuries, Ronaldo will be accompanied up front by Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, making up Madrid’s most powerful attack.

Barcelona, which also reached the Copa del Rey final, hosts Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, while Atletico Madrid hosts Valencia.

Here are some things to know about this weekend’s matches:


WITHOUT GRIEZMANN: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has relied heavily on France striker Antoine Griezmann, having played him in 38 out of the team’s 40 games.

However, Griezmann is suspended for the match against Valencia at Vicente Calderon Stadium because of yellow card accumulation.

Atletico has failed to win either of the games that Griezmann didn’t play in.

It is third in the standings, one point ahead of fourth-place Valencia.

BALE’S DROUGHT: Bale arrived at Real Madrid for a world-record fee of $132 million, but the Wales midfielder hasn’t found the back of the net in five matches. The former Tottenham player has 14 goals in 35 games this season.

BUSQUETS OUT: Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets was taken off the field on a stretcher on Wednesday during the 3-1 win over Villarreal, ruling him out of Sunday’s match.

Tomas Pina twisted Busquets’ ankle badly when he accidentally landed on it in while making a pass.

On Thursday, the team said medical tests confirmed that the Spain midfielder sustained a high ankle sprain, and would miss the match against Rayo.

Barcelona has a busy month ahead in which Busquets will be a key player, with La Liga games against Rayo and Eibar, then hosting Manchester City in a last-16 Champions League return leg, and Madrid in the season’s last clasico on March 22.

MADRID EMPTIES SICKBAY: Madrid’s once-crowded sickbay is about to empty.

Germany midfielder Sami Khedira, who injured left leg muscles during the 4-0 loss to Atletico, is fully fit and training.

Other players who joined him on the field at Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground are defender Sergio Ramos, striker Karim Benzema and midfielder James Rodriguez.

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