La Liga - Team news: Barca wait on duo

Sat, 12 Mar 19:19:00 2011

Barcelona travel to play seventh-placed Sevilla on Sunday with doubts over both Carles Puyol and Pedro.

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The league leaders trained without injured Puyol on Friday, while Pedro worked apart from the group.

Sevilla are without injured Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano and suspended French defender Julien Escude, while goalkeeper Andres Palop and winger Diego Perotti are doubts.

"It's possible (Barca could be tired after playing Arsenal midweek), above all if the result is against them and they have to make an extra effort," Sevilla coach Gregorio Manzano told daily Sport.

"Our objective is to score first to oblige them to make this effort. If they have their day and score first they are almost unstoppable."

Fourth-placed Villarreal were boosted for the visit of Sporting Gijon on Sunday (1800) with a 3-2 win away to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League on Thursday.

"It's an important victory for the team because we haven't been doing so well in recent games," Brazilian striker Nilmar said. "We needed a lift like this."

Sixth-placed Espanyol have been hit by a spate of injuries and their push for the European places has suffered with a run of six defeats from their last seven outings. They host improving Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday (1600).

"We believe in the youngsters who are having to step in," coach Mauricio Pochettino told reporters. "In a couple of years we are going to be tremendously strong and we'll be able to look back on all this with pride."


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