Real Betis are very broke, sitting in 18th place and coming off an away game in Europa League on Thursday. Barcelona will probably win fairly comfortably, even if they have to go away and Betis' goal differential isn't abysmal for a team third from bottom. See, I acknowledge that Betis are somewhat capable of nicking a draw.
Anyway, the real battle this week is around fourth place, where Villarreal look like the very slim favorites. They established their place with a massive 4-1 win over Valencia, shook everyone's confidence by falling to Getafe, then bounced back nicely with a win away to Elche last week. They're three points ahead of Athletic Bilbao and face a huge text this weekend when they host Atletico Madrid. It's also a big match for Atleti, who look just as much like title challengers as Real Madrid do and can seriously solidify their place in that conversation with a victory on Sunday.
Both Athletic and their Basque Country rivals Real Sociedad are in the hunt for that final Champions League spot, but expect the former side to extend their lead on the latter this week. Athletic host Levante, who they probably shouldn't lose to, though the Frogs are actually better away than they are on their home turf. Meanwhile, Real Sociedad go to the Santiago Bernabeu. Good luck with that!
Elsewhere, expect to see Valencia and Getafe keep pace with the pack fighting for fourth. Los Che host Real Valladolid, while Madrid's other other club take on Elche at home.
Schedule (all times ET)
Osasuna vs. Almeria - Friday, 2 p.m.
Granada vs. Malaga - Friday, 4 p.m.
Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad - Saturday, 10 a.m.
Getafe vs. Elche - Saturday, 12 p.m.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Levante - Saturday, 2 p.m.
Celta Vigo vs. Rayo Vallecano - Saturday, 4 p.m.
Espanyol vs. Sevilla - Sunday, 6 a.m.
Valencia vs. Real Valladolid - Sunday, 11 a.m.
Villarreal vs. Atletico Madrid - Sunday, 1 p.m.
Real Betis vs. Barcelona - Sunday, 3 p.m.