Madrid: Defending champions Barcelona would look to eat into the six points that current league leaders Real Madrid have at the top of the table when they host Athletic Club Bilbao in the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday.

Barcelona's 0-0 draw in the Champions League away to AC Milan on Wednesday means that the reigning European champions still have work to do next Tuesday if they are to assure a place in the semi-finals of the tournament.

In order to face Milan next Tuesday with his strongest side, Guardiola will no doubt look to rest some of his key players on Saturday, with youngsters such as Christian Tello given another chance to shine.

Meanwhile Cesc Fabregas, who didn't play in Milan, is also likely to start on Saturday along with winger Isaac Cuenca, a news agency reported.

Guardiola's side has a huge advantage over Athletic, who played in the Europa League, achieving a spectacular 4-2 away win against Schalke 04 on Thursday night. The need for Barcelona to play on Saturday night means that Athletic's players will have just 47 hours between the end of their European game and the kick-off in the Camp Nou.

Despite their heroics in Europe, Athletic have run out of steam in their last four league matches, taking just one point from a possible 12 as the demands of playing in the Copa del Rey, the Primera Liga and the Europa League have started to take their toll on a small squad.

Barcelona meanwhile have been in unstoppable form and their players know that should Real Madrid lose another game, they could complete their fightback when they take on Jose Mourinho's side in the Camp Nou in April.

(Agencies)