After a short winter break, La Liga returns with a bang this Sunday and Monday with a full slate of action, including a big six-pointer (I hate that term) between Valencia and Espanyol for fourth place. The visitors were taken apart at the hands of the Blaugranes in the Barcelona derby, but their previous results indicate that they have the ability to challenge Valencia this evening. Los Che were gifted a lucky three points in their last match against Real Sociedad and look like they're vulnerable to having their top four place taken away.
The first match of the day features eighth placed Athletic Bilbao, a side that is just three points off of the all-important fourth position. Rumors have been swirling that their star striker Fernando Llorente could be sold soon, but as long as he is at the club and healthy, Athletic are serious contenders for Europe. Today, playing at home, they will be fairly heavy favorites to defeat a mediocre Deportivo La Coruña side. That game kicks off at 10 am ET.
Barcelona take the field at noon ET, hosting relegation battlers Levante at the Camp Nou. Despite their general lack of depth and quality, Levante did hold Real Madrid to a 0-0 early this season, so it's not impossible that they could challenge the current La Liga leaders. It does seem unlikely, though, and Barcelona very well could turn on the style.
Despite changing managers and hiring Gregorio Manzano, a man with a great history of success in La Liga, Sevilla have been reeling lately and have fallen all the way down to 11th place. Still, they're only eight points from fourth and six points from Europe. Against Osasuna, they should be heavy favorites, but Sevilla have recently shown an ability to lose to absolutely anyone.
And then, of course, the night cap has a battle for forth between Valencia and Espanyol. We'll have coverage of all four of those games starting at 10 am ET, keep it right hurr.