La Liga 2012, Week 6 Preview And Fixtures: Eight Points Is Still A Lot

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno - Getty Images

Real Madrid trail Barcelona by eight points. No, that's not a typo. It's true. And it's true that this is a zero-sum duopoly, and each point dropped by Madrid is one gained by Barcelona. But with only five weeks of soccer played, is this really the end?

The season is not over. Not yet. But it's getting down to it--not literally, but in an overarching sense. Real Madrid and Barcelona are locked in a zero-sum duopoly, with any point dropped by one side is a point gained by the other. With this framework in mind, it's not that hard to see why Real Madrid fans are already panicking.

But with the first Clásico around the corner, it's not as big a deal as people are making it....yet.

Saturday, September 29

Valencia vs. Zaragoza

(16:00 CET, 10:00 AM EST)

Valencia has been playing pretty solid soccer so far this year, and Zaragoza has been playing a bit above their level. It's unclear whether it will continue like that, but I'm predicting a pretty certain one-sided result.

Pick: 3-1 to Valencia.

Málaga vs. Real Betis

(18:00 CET, 12:00 PM EST)

Málaga: the great shock of the beginning of the season. Betis--maybe the second most exciting team of the early going.

Pick: 1-0 to Málaga.

Real Sociedad vs. Athletic Bilbao

(20:00 CET, 2:00 PM EST)

The Basque derbi is one of the most fun 90 minutes in world soccer. It's not that these teams are great; it's that their fans hate each other.

Pick: 1-2 to Bilbao.

Sevilla vs. FC Barcelona

(22:00 CET, 4:00 PM EST)

Sevilla: not the team they used to be. Barça: the team they used to be.

Pick: 0-3 to Barça.

Sunday, September 30

Granada vs. Celta

(12:00 CET, 6:00 AM EST)

Hmm. Yeah, I'm not waking up for this one.

Pick: 1-1.

Valladolid vs. Rayo Vallecano

(16:00 CET, 10:00 AM EST)

Valladolid and Rayo are shockingly exciting teams. They're both teams with good offensive philosophies that can't always execute well--but at least it's fun.

Pick: 2-1 to Valladolid.

Osasuna vs. Levante

(18:00 CET, 12:00 PM EST)

Snooze-fest.

Pick: 0-0.

Real Madrid vs. Deportivo

(19:50 CET, 1:50 PM EST)

Depor are looking to regain their former glory on the backs of players that haven't really experienced it. Real Madrid are trying to right a rocky ship.

Pick: 3-1 to Madrid.

Espanyol vs. Atlético Madrid

(21:30 CET, 3:30 PM EST)

FALCAO IS MY GOD. Well not really. But he's my guy this year.

Pick: 3-1 to Atleti.

Monday, October 1

Getafe vs. Mallorca

(21:30 CET, 3:30 PM EST)

Agh. Monday Night Football equivalent: Vikings-Raiders.

Pick: 2-1 to Geta.

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