Villa revelling in Barca harmony
Barcelona striker David Villa credits their long winning run to dressing room unity and hopes it can help them to another victory this weekend.
And 29-year-old Villa is perfectly placed to offer an insight into what makes the Barca winning machine tick having only arrived at the club in summer.
"When I arrived, the coach and my team-mates gave me their support and confidence," the 29-year-old told Sky Sports News.
"They let me know they had chosen me and that they hadn't made a mistake in doing so and that we would end up achieving success. That's how it's panning out, little by little.
"I knew a lot of people in the dressing room already. It's not a fairytale; it's a normal relaxed place where everyone is in harmony."
Villa played for the best part of an hour in Spain's 1-0 friendly win over Colombia on Wednesday but is expected to be fit for Saturday's match.
Real Madrid, in second place behind Barca by a daunting seven points, travel to the Catalan capital on Sunday to take on Espanyol, buoyed by a 4-1 win at home to Real Sociedad - a game which saw Emmanuel Adebayor score his second goal for the club following his loan move from Manchester City.
"I'm very happy for scoring two goals," said Adebayor.
"I will work hard every day to help win our games.
"It is very easy to work with (manager Jose) Mourinho. He is an excellent person and he enhances my game.
Villarreal, who lead the best of the rest behind La Liga's two dominant clubs, take on Deportivo La Coruna hoping for better luck than they got in their surprise 1-0 defeat to Levante last time out.
That win took Levante to one point from safety and they can climb out of the relegation spots altogether if they can win against fellow strugglers Almeria and Deportivo drop points.
Malaga, bottom of the division, eked out a point from their 0-0 draw with Sevilla last time out and are at home to Malaga.
Atletico Madrid, taken apart 3-0 by a Lionel Messi-inspired Barca last time out, take on Champions League hopefuls Valencia, Racing Santander host Sevilla, Hercules meet Real Zaragoza and, on Monday, Athletic Bilbao travel to Real Mallorca.