La Liga 2012, Week 14 preview and fixtures: Madrid derby simply a battle for second and third

Jasper Juinen

The Madrid derby is more intriguing than it's been in a very long time, but it's unlikely that either side is a title contender. Somehow, their early season top-three battle is just about pride. There are also a few other matches, not that anyone noticed.

There are 10 fixtures during this La Liga matchweek, but all eyes are on one of them. If Athletic Bilbao were a bit more competitive this season (hint: maybe start your best player?), there might be two marquee fixtures, but their early season shenanigans have made this a one-showcase weekend.

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, the second and third placed teams in the table, do battle on Saturday night. It's been a rough start to La Liga for Los Merengues, and they're likely already out of the title race thanks to Barcelona's huge 11 point lead. Atleti aren't considered a real challenger to Barca's top spot by anyone who isn't a hardcore supporter, but they can make things a bit interesting with a win over their rivals.

Malaga play the early game of the day on Saturday, as they head to Getafe and attempt to keep themselves in the front of the race for fourth place. Valencia face Real Sociedad, followed by Barcelona versus Athletic Bilbao on a loaded Saturday. In Friday's only game, Osasuna downed Rayo Vallecano, 1-0.

Schedule (all times ET)

Getafe vs. Malaga - Saturday, 10 a.m.
Valencia vs. Real Sociedad - Saturday, 12 p.m.
Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid - Saturday, 4 p.m.
Granada vs. Espanyol - Sunday, 6 a.m.
Deportivo La Coruña vs. Real Betis - Sunday, 11 a.m.
Celta Vigo vs. Levante - Sunday, 1 p.m.
Mallorca vs. Real Zaragoza - Sunday, 3 p.m.
Sevilla vs. Real Valladolid - Monday, 3:30 p.m.

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