La Liga, Week 9: The calm before the Clásico storm

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

This week's schedule in Spain is light on big games but with the first meeting between the league's two heavyweights on the horizon, at least we have something to look forward to.

Oh great La Liga scheduling computer! We have suffered through the long, dark international break all the while awaiting the return of glorious club football. Now we stand on the precipice of Week 9 in Spain and we await the matches you have set for us!

Quickly look over the schedule

Gee. Thanks. You're worse than Deep Thought.

Sadly there's not any marquee match-ups this week in La Liga but considering the first El Clásico of the season is just over a week away, I guess we can forgive the computer for wanting us to ease us back into things a bit.

League leaders Barcelona look for their ninth straight win against 18th placed Osasuna with captain Carles Puyol in the 18 for the first time since knee surgery earlier this year. He may not end up playing but it's nice to see Puyol and his luxurious mane of hair back. Atlético Madrid will attempt to stay right with Barca as the face a potentially tricky trip to Espanyol. Javier Aguirre's side stumbled into the break with three straight losses and could use a positive result to get their season back on track.

If you're looking for the one match to match this week, check out Athletic Bilbao vs. Villarreal on Monday. Real Madrid's game against Malaga could also be interesting if you're the footballing equivalent of a birdwatcher. Why? It should be a chance to catch a glimpse of the elusive Gareth Bale.

Here is this week's full schedule:

Saturday, October 19th

Real Madrid vs. Malaga | 10:00 a.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. CEST

Valencia vs. Real Sociedad | 12:00 p.m. ET, 6:00 p.m. CEST

Osasuna vs. Barcelona | 2:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. CEST

Espanyol vs. Atlético Madrid | 4:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. CEST

Sunday, October 20th

Granada vs. Getafe | 6:00 a.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CEST

Almeria vs. Rayo Vallecano | 11:00 a.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. CEST

Real Betis vs. Elche | 1:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CEST

Real Valladolid vs. Sevilla | 3:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. CEST

Monday, October 21st

Celta Vigo vs. Levante | 2:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. CEST

Athletic Bilbao vs. Villarreal | 4:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. CEST

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