The Catalans lead Atletico Madrid solely thanks to their better head-to-head record with Real Madrid just a point behind the leaders in third.
However, Barca's chances of retaining their title could be boosted by Atletico and Real's European commitments as their respective clashes with Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad are sandwiched between the two legs of their Champions League semi-finals.

Atletico and Real remained on course for a second Madrid derby final in three years in midweek as Atletico will travel to Germany with a 1-0 lead over Bayern Munich, while Real host Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu with the scores level at 0-0.

By contrast, Barca have enjoyed just their second free midweek of 2016 and appear to have turned the corner with 14 goals without reply against Deportivo la Coruna and Sporting Gijon in their last two outings after a run of three straight league defeats.

"There are people who say it is better to play every three days to not lose the rhythm of competition, others say it is better to rest, but the most important thing is winning," Barca defender Gerard Pique said yesterday.

"We need to win the three games that are left to win La Liga and then the Cup final. It is in our hands which is the most important thing. If we win the three games we will be champions," he added.

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