Valencia, Spain – Cristiano Ronaldo required stitches in the locker room Wednesday for a gash on his ankle, and the Portuguese star may not play for Real Madrid in Sunday's La Liga game against Levante.
Ronaldo suffered a bad gash on his right ankle in Wednesday's Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, 1-0 in Croatia. He leads the club in scoring this year with four league goals and has been a major factor in their road unbeaten run.
Real has not lost on the road in La Liga in its last nine matches, dating back to last season, and outscored its opponents 30-8 in that span. Ronaldo notched 10 of those goals.
After the game over Zagreb, Ronaldo expressed his disgust with the officiating and described his injury on a tackle from Jerko Leko as being "mauled."
"People talk of fair-play, of protecting good players," Ronaldo said, "but I never get any of that. I don't understand a thing.
"I'm sad because I hear referees saying they will protect skilful players, but while some are untouchable it seems I can be mauled."
Even if Ronaldo misses the fixture, Real Madrid should be the superior club at the Ciutat de Valencia. Real sits atop La Liga with two wins, 10 goals scored, and just two allowed.
Jose Mourinho's club has a two-point cushion on Barcelona, but could fall back in the standings with five matches - including Osasuna's visit to Barca - on Saturday.
Barcelona dropped points at Real Sociedad last week, as it let a two-goal lead slip away in a 2-2 draw. Sociedad defeated Barca at home last season.
And after a 2-2 midweek draw against AC Milan at the Camp Nou, as Thiago Silva scored in stoppage time, Barca is on a rare two-game winless run. But with its match at home this week, a rebound is expected.
"I promise we'll play like we did against Real Sociedad and Milan," Guardiola said about the team giving up leads. "Against the Italians, we shot 23 times, had 70 percent of the possession and played to win.
"I just hope my players behave like they have done these last few days."
Villarreal, which lost at home to Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, is looking for its first victory of the season Saturday at promoted and winless Granada.
Sporting Gijon, the only other club with two losses, hosts two-win Valencia, Mallorca hosts Malaga, and Sevilla hosts Real Sociedad on Saturday.
Also Sunday, Getafe hosts Rayo Vallecano, Atletico Madrid hosts Racing, Real Zaragoza hosts Espanyol, and Athletic Bilbao hosts Real Betis.