Barca and Real’s stranglehold on Spain has grown and has always taken something special to crack.
Atletico win their first league title in 18 years after rallying to 1-1 draw at Barcelona.
Win or draw against Barcelona away on final day will hand Atletico first La Liga title since 1996.
Costa missed Sunday’s 1-1 draw to Malaga but returns to try to help Atletico clinch their first domestic league title in 18 years.
Neymar, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba were given the all-clear by medical staff for Saturday’s La Liga final clash.
Barca will need to dip into the transfer market in the close season to find a replacement for Puyol.
Valdes helped Barcelona win three Champions League crowns among various other trophies.
Atletico leads with 89 points which means a draw will be enough to pry the championship away from Barca.
Saturday’s clash between Atletico and Barca will be only the third “winner takes all” match on the final day.
The Real Madrid striker limped out of Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Real Valladolid with a thigh strain.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone, meanwhile, is not losing any sleep over his team’s title challenge.
Ronaldo’s injury seemed to affect Real’s spirit as they were too static and predictable in possession.
Atletico lead with 88 points and Barcelona are second with 85 and Madrid have 83 points.
Barca’s feeble showing means Atletico can stretch their advantage at top to six points with two games left.
Barca captain Xavi conceded that a fifth La Liga title in six years was next to impossible for the Catalan giants.
Victory at Levante would put Atletico on 91 points, while defeat for Barca against Getafe would end their title bid.
Messi has faced criticism for his lackluster performances in the team’s recent losses in the league.
Atletico took advantage of Barcelona’s loss on Saturday to open up a three point lead over Real Madrid.
Atletico have 79 points from 32 matches, three more than their tally from last season when they finished third.
Atletico have 76 points with seven games left, equalling their tally from last season when they finished third.
Colombian striker Carlos Bacca struck twice to give the hosts Sevilla a sixth consecutive league win.
Atletico Madrid move ahead of Barcelona, as Real Madrid slip to third position after Sevilla loss.
Messi’s treble meant four-times World Player of the Year became the all-time top scorer in ‘Clasicos’ with 21 goal.
Benzema will return at centre forward with Ronaldo on the left and winger Gareth Bale on the right.
Barcelona was left four points adrift of the pacesetters following Saturday’s stunning 1-0 defeat at Valladolid.
Real Madrid took full advantage of Barcelona’s shock loss at Real Valladolid with a 3-0 home win over 10-man Levante.
It was the first time Atletico conceded three goals in the first half since Argentine coach Diego Simeone took over.
Gareth Bale scored a blistering long-range strike to help Madrid brush aside Elche 3-0
Lionel Messi struck twice at Nou Camp to take his total in Spain’s top flight to 228 goals from 263 matches.
Real lost Marcelo to injury before Mario fired Villarreal back into the contest as the home team sat back.
The result left the Catalans with one win from their last four league matches.
Real Madrid had claimed the overnight lead thanks to Saturday’s 2-0 home success against Granada.
Real Madrid are third on 50 points, level with Atletico but behind on goal difference.
Known collectively as ‘BBC’, the trio cost Real more than three times the value of Betis squad.
Atletico’s coach moulded the team into a tough-tackling unit known for their drive to win.
Barca coach Gerardo Martino was forced at halftime to bring on Lionel Messi.