Real Madrid coach Wanderley Luxemburgo looks certain to name an unchanged side as his team look to keep the pressure on league leaders Barcelona this weekend.
Madrid entertain high-flying Villarreal knowing anything other than a win against the side known affectionately as the `yellow submarine', will almost certainly sink their chances of lifting the league title.
Luxemburgo's men go into the game six points behind Barca but know that when goal difference is taken into consideration that gap is effectively seven.
Barcelona will face a nervous 24-hour wait after Madrid's match before stepping out for a difficult game in Malaga.
The team from the capital know that they have a great chance of narrowing the gap before next weekend's difficult away trip to play Real Sociedad.
Thomas Gravesen is still injured as he struggles to recover from a twisted ankle and misses out, while Ivan Helguera will also be forced to watch from the stands, after a stomach bug saw him spend a night in hospital this week.
The absence of his first choice midfielders means Luxemburgo will keep faith in Francisco Pavon and Fernandez Borja, both of whom played in last weekend's 2-0 win over Levante.
Michael Owen will also start as the Madrid coach keeps faith in the attacking trident of Owen, Raul and Ronaldo - whose three goals in two games have signalled a return to form after over a month without scoring.
Luis Figo, who gave a clear message during the week that he did not want to stay where he did not feel wanted, will start on the bench for the third consecutive match.
Meanwhile, right back Michel Salgado has warned his companions against overconfidence following their wins over Levante and Barcelona.
"We have got back into the title race and we have to make the most of our chance whatever Barcelona do," he said.
"We have to win our remaining six games right until the end of the season," he said, warning that Villarreal will be difficult.
"I see a bit of relaxation and calm, because people are talking a lot about us and Barcelona, but not about Villarreal."
"One of the best teams in the Primera Liga is going to visit us. They have had a consistent season and have more than just (Juan Roman) Riquelme and Diego Forlan."
"We have to be as concentrated against them as we were against Barca," he warned.
Riquelme and Forlan have been the driving force that have lifted Villarreal to fourth in the table, with Riquelme, currently in his second season on loan from Barcelona, the player who has set up the majority of Forlan's 17 league goals.
However, he is not too concerned about helping the club who hold the reigns of his contract.
"I am not interested in who ends up as Champions, all I want to do is finish third or fourth with Villarreal," said the 27-year-old.
"The important thing for us is to qualify for the Champions League and if we can win on Saturday in Madrid, that's great because it will take us closer to our objective," he added.
Villarreal will be without midfielder Josico for the game, but will be able to count on Brazilian Marcos Senna after the Spanish FA's appeals committee decided to cancel the yellow card he received last weekend, which would have seen him suspended for the game.
P16 W13 D0 L3
% of points accumulated at Home: 82%
P15 W3 D6 L6
% of points accumulated on Road: 33%
05/12/04: Villarreal CF 0-0 Real Madrid CF
La Liga| Saturday| 23 April 05| 22:00 CET| Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
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