La Liga

Neymar, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba Declared Fit for Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 05:  Neymar of FC Barcelona winks at his teammates during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis Balompie at Camp Nou on April 5, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2014

Barcelona trio Neymar, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba have all been declared fit for Saturday's title-deciding clash with Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou. 

ESPN's Spain correspondent Dermot Corrigan reported via Twitter:

Corrigan also relayed manager Tata Martino's comments on the trio:

The news is a huge fillip for the Catalan giants, who can snatch the La Liga title on head-to head results from Atletico if they claim victory on Saturday.

However, Diego Simeone's table-topping side currently sit three points clear of Barcelona and will win the league if they avoid losing.

If Atletico do claim the title, it will be the first time since Valencia's triumph in 2004 that a side other than Barcelona or Real Madrid have won the Spanish league, per ESPN FC.

ELCHE, SPAIN - MAY 11: Carles Puyol of FC Barcelona looks on prior to the La Liga match between Elche FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on May 11, 2014 in Elche, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona will be without veteran defender Carles Puyol, who has a knee injury, meaning the Spaniard has played his last game for the club, having represented them since 1999.

However, he insists those who are fit will be playing their part, per BBC Sport: "I have spoken with the coaches and we are playing for a title so those that are 100% have to play."

The fitness of Alba and Pique is important for Barca's defensive strength while Neymar has the ability to change any game with a single moment of magic. 

Real Madrid finally dropped out of the title race when they lost 2-0 to Celta de Vigo on Sunday and Barcelona and Atletico both drew, per BBC Sport.

Thus it all comes down to Saturday's clash, the final game of the season for both sides. The reverse fixture ended in a 0-0 draw, hence why Barca can claim the title with a win. 

Atletico's top-scorer, Diego Costa, who has 27 La Liga goals this season per Squawka, has also been declared fit and will start for Simeone, per European football writer Andy Brassell:

Barcelona have been quite poor this season, so for them to be in with a chance of retaining the La Liga title on the final day is quite an extraordinary achievement. It would represent their only significant silverware of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Atletico could be on for a historic double as they face city rivals Real on May 24 in Lisbon for the Champions League Final. 

While Barcelona have the home advantage on Saturday, the fact that Atletico only need a draw perhaps tilts the pendulum in their direction. But with such talent on show and so much at stake, it will no doubt be quite an occasion. 

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