La Liga 2011, Week 13 Preview: Madrid "Derbi" Highlights Exciting Weekend

Week 13 is here, as is the Madrid "derbi" and all the completely unnecessary hype that surrounds this one-sided matchup.

If it feels like things never stop for Real Madrid--or, you know, if I'm just writing about them too much--well, then you're pretty much right. Last weekend, los blancos traveled to (one of the many) cauldrons of "anti-madridismo" in Valencia, and now they're hosting cross-town rivals Atlético Madrid in the capital city's major derby (sorry Rayo Vallecano vs. Getafe). Atleti is looking to end a 12-year losing streak to one of the hottest teams in world football...and have officially lost star striker Radamel Falcao for the clash. Uh oh.

Saturday, November 26

Rayo Vallecano vs. Valencia 

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

Well, Valencia get's a slightly easier Madrid-based side this week after thrashing Genk in the Champions League 7-0. I don't see things ending too well for Madrid's very little brothers this week. Especially not with Roberto Soldado in the best form of his career (how good is that guy?).

Pick: 0-3 to Valencia, and definitely take the "Roberto Soldado scores more than one goal" line, whatever you have to bet.

Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Oof. Real Madrid are coming off a 6-2 drubbing of Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions LEague, featuring a historically great scoring outburst in the first nine minutes. Atleti hasn't beaten Madrid in 12 years, and are going to be without striker Radamel Falcao. But hey, crazier things have happened. Right? 

Pick: 2-1 to Real Madrid...and that's being exceedingly generous.

Getafe vs. FC Barcelona

22:00 CET (4:00 PM EST)

It's crazy: the top three teams in la Liga will be in Madrid this weekend...and none of them are playing each other! That being said, can you expect anything other than a blowout by Barça against a team whose best player is Pedro León? 

Pick: 0-5 to Barcelona.

Sunday, November 27

Real Betis vs. Real Sociedad

12:00 CET (6:00 AM EST)

Why is Real Sociedad playing in the morning time slot for the second straight week? I mean, at least try to make these games palatable, LFP. It's beginning to get embarassing. 

Pick: 1-1 draw.

Levante vs. Sporting

16:00 CET (10:00 AM EST)

My, how Levante has fallen since leading the Liga. They've lost their past three matches by a combined score of 7-2, and show no signs of slowing down. 

Pick: 0-0. But maybe Levante pulls it out?

Espanyol vs. Osasuna

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

Osasuna is really bad. And really boring. This is the week's stay away game (yeah, I'd rather watch Real Sociedad - Betis).

Pick: 1-0 to Espanyol, basically by inertia. 

Mallorca vs. Racing Santander

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

Remember when Racing was good? Yeah, me neither. Maybe I have a short memory, but still. And hey, I remember when Samuel Eto'o torched Real Madrid as a Mallorca player back in the day.

Pick: 2-1 to Mallorca.

Athletic Bilbao vs. Granada

19:45 CET (1:45 PM EST)

Here's where I'd like to make some sort of quip about the time of this game (7:45? What?), but honestly, it's not that funny. Just watch Athletic, love Bielsa, Llorente, Muniain and company, and enjoy the crap out of this inevitable destruction.

Pick: 3-1 to Athletic. 

Zaragoza vs. Sevilla

21:30 CET (3:30 PM EST)

Yeah, Sevilla is going to destroy this poor team. Zaragoza really needs to get their crap together, maybe find some cheap talent to turn around their struggling franchise. I hear David Beckham is looking for a job. 

Pick: 0-3 to Sevilla.

Monday, November 21

Málaga vs. Villarreal

21:00 CET (3:00 PM EST)

The not-really-sleeper-but-still-awesome game of the week features two sides going in opposite directions: Málaga's future is bright, with stars and possibly European berths in the future, while Villarreal's glory days may have passed, as stars have begun to leave and the results have dropped them down. We'll see how the two sides react, especially since Manuel Pellegrini probably still feels attached to his old side. 

Pick: 2-1 to Málaga. 

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