La Liga 2011, Week 15: Real Madrid Host Barcelona In El Clasico While World Watches

It's clásico week, folks! So get ready for a LOT of this.

OMG IT'S CLÁSICO WEEK YOU GUYS OMG

It's another round of the never-ending s---storm that engulfs Spain (and most of the soccer-loving world) between twice and (at most) eight times every year: Real Madrid will host arch-rival FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, much to the delight of many (and to the annoyance of others). Whatever your take on el clásico--and trust me, I have, like six different "takes"--you'd be a fool (or a non-soccer fan, or a Justin Bieber stalker lover) to miss it. (Just in case you were wondering, and you probably were, there's some sort of Justin Bieber special airing on some channel at the same time as the clásico Saturday night.)

Saturday, December 10

Levante vs. Sevilla

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

You know what? I just cannot understand Levante. And I'm considering giving up. All of my instincts are telling me that Sevilla are just going to run them over. But man, have I been wrong in the past. 

Pick: 0-1 to Sevilla.

Real Betis vs. Valencia

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Well, this one I can be pretty confident about, even though Valencia is away. Betis suck. Valencia is really good, and have one of the most on-form strikers in the world on their team. Plus, they're going to be hungry for results after losing to Chelsea in the Champions League.

Pick: 0-2 to Valencia.

Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona

22:00 CET (4:00 PM EST)

OH. MY. GAWD. I actually don't think I can write about this effing game any more. Instead, check out our fantastic Real Madrid blog, Managing Madrid, and our equally-awesome FC Barcelona blog, Barca Blaugranes for all the inside details. Oh, and we've already written a ton about it on SB Nation Soccer also. Here's our El Clasico StoryStream.

Pick: 2-2 draw.

Sunday, December 11

Rayo Vallecano vs. Sporting Gijón

12:00 CET (6:00 AM EST)

Aaand, just like that we're back to earth. And poor Rayo are stuck playing the morning game again. And poor Asian markets are stuck (not) watching Rayo play Sporting. In all seriousness, I'm a huge fan of Rayo's and they've done pretty well this year. Let's hope it continues.

Pick: 1-1 draw.

Villarreal vs. Real Sociedad 

16:00 CET (10:00 AM EST)

This could be the underrated game of the week, against all odds. Weird, I feel like I literally just wrote that same phrase about la Real last week. Odd. This one could be a shootout, considering Villarreal's firepower; or it could be a high-intensity, open-ended draw. Either way, I'm buying.

Pick: 2-2 draw. Goals, please.

Getafe vs. Granada

16:00 CET (10:00 AM EST)

Ah, Geta, how I've missed you. A team built on semi-castoffs/young players who couldn't quite make it with their parent club is taking on a recently-arrived, and probably recently-descended Granada side. It actually could be interesting, as Geta have authored some of the prettier goals this year. It could also be a bore-a-paloozathon.

Pick: 2-1 to Getafe.

Málaga vs. Osasuna

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

I'm totally not off the Málaga bandwagon. Not that I actually think that they'll, you know, win something; but instead that they'll put up exciting, fun games as a general rule. Case in point? Last week's 3-2 win against Real Sociedad.

Pick: 2-1 to Málaga. Fun! 

Zaragoza vs. Mallorca

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

Málaga vs. Osasuna is on at the same time. Just watch that one.

Pick: 0-0 draw.

Athletic Bilbao vs. Racing Santander

19:45 CET (1:45 PM EST)

Athletic is another one of those well-I-should-be-off-the-bandwagon-but-screw-it-they're-so-fun sides. I mean, they're waaay too inconsistent to win anything major (right now), but WOW they're fun to watch. Plus, Fernando Llorente is an adonis and Marcelo Bielsa seems like he might snap and jump someone at any minute.

Pick: 3-1 to Athletic.

Espanyol vs. Atlético Madrid 

21:30 CET (3:30 PM EST)

It's the battle of the little brothers, as Real Madrid's little bros travel to take on Barcelona's little bros. But this one isn't going to be cute, as these sides are pretty evenly matched, and Atleti is fighting for their relevancy-lives. Go ahead and feed me a HUGE pile of crow for expecting them to do something meaningful this season. 

Pick: 2-1 to Espanyol. 

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