La Liga 2012, Week 28 Preview And Fixtures: "Slumping" Real Madrid Travel To Villarreal

OMG CRISIS DOOD!

If your team's record is 11-0-1 in twelve games, they must be IN CRISIS!

Real Madrid's last-second draw with Málaga this weekend in the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid caused most of the Spanish tabloids to have mini-strokes. LA LIGA IS INTERESTING AGAIN!!!!!! They all proclaimed, as José Mourinho's men cursed their many chances and worried that their eight point lead wouldn't be sufficient to hold off a suddenly charging Barcelona side. What a terrible slump for the boys in white.

Wait, is this really the narrative? Real Madrid drew a game that they dominated on a last-second freekick goal taken by arguably the best free kick taker in the world (Santi Cazorla--seriously), and are "only" up eight points on Barça. If the Liga wasn't interesting before, then I'm sorry, it's not any more interesting now. But guess what? I still think it's interesting, if only because VALLECAS!

Tuesday, March 19

Osasuna vs. Getafe

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Osasuna is still a tough team to play at home. Getafe are still a mediocre side everywhere. I don't know what else to say about this.

Pick: 2-1 to Osasuna.

FC Barcelona vs. Granada

21:00 CET (3:00 PM EST)

GOALS! GOALS! GOALS! How well are Barça playing? GOALS GOALS GOAL!!!

Pick: 5-0 GOALS?!

Wednesday, March 20

Atlético Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

This is a match between two very similar sides: both are vastly over performing in Europe, and underperforming at home. They're both strong attacking sides with a mediocre defensive philosophy. But only one of them has Marcelo Bielsa.

Pick: 1-2 to Athletic.

Valencia vs. Real Zaragoza

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Valencia thrashed a strong Athletic Bilbao side only a few days ago. Now they're taking on the worst side in la Liga? Fuggedaboudit.

Pick: 4-1 to Valencia.

Sporting Gijón vs. Mallorca

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Uf. There are two much better games on. Watch those. Unless you're fond of semi-relegation battles and mid-table classification. Then this one is for you.

Pick: 0-0.

Real Sociedad vs. Levante

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Levante beat Villarreal last weekend, to much aplomb, and got the Yellow Submarine's coach fired. So there's that. But somehow I think Anoeta will be a more complicated place to play, especially with the bad weather that might or might not be forecasted for Wednesday evening.

Pick: 1-0 to la Real.

Villarreal vs. Real Madrid

22:00 CET (4:00 PM EST)

AHH! REAL MADRID ARE "SLUMPING" BECAUSE THEY DREW ONCE IN THE LAST 12 GAMES. Come on people. Chill. Real Madrid opponents are 0-9-2 after sacking a coach before playing los blancos. I think Mou's boys will be fine. But if not, get ready for a LOT of freaking out.

Pick: 1-2 to Real Madrid. Though I don't think the game will feel this close.

Thursday, March 21

Racing Santander vs. Sevilla

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Sevilla looked lost last week. But they were playing Barcelona. A trip to play mid-table Racing might be just what this (admittedly also mid-table) side needs. But you never know.

Pick: 0-2 to Juande Ramos. Wait, what?

Real Betis vs. RCD Espanyol

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

I like Espanyol, and I think they're capable of intermittent fantastic-ness. They're a perpetually underrated side because of who they happen to share a city with, but that just makes them more fun. The problem is, Betis is actually a pretty solid team, especially at home. So...what? Both sides need points to continue their run for relevance.

Pick: 0-0. Right? Only way to solve this one.

Málaga vs. Rayo Vallecano

22:00 CET (4:00 PM EST)

There's no way Rayo will be able to take points off a team that JUST DETHRONED REAL MADRID!!!! right? Oh, but wait, they're RAYO VALLECANO. They're awesome. They're so damn poor their players aren't allowed to exchange shirts after games because they don't have the extra funds to replace them. And they're contending for Europe. VALLECAS!

Pick: 1-1 to VALLECAS.

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