Two big matches in the European race and the relegation battle highlight this week's action in Spain. Real Betis and Real Sociedad will meet with a chance to jump into 4th place, while at the bottom of the league Celta Vigo and Deportivo meet in a massive relegation six pointer.
Friday, March 15th
Deportivo La Coruña vs. Celta Vigo
(21:45 CET, 4:45 p.m. ET)
Nothing like kicking off the week's league action with a relegation six pointer. Things are pretty straightforward for these two teams. Despite two straight losses Celta Vigo are only three points from safety. A couple wins and couple breaks in the form of draws or losses from the teams above them any anything is possible. Depor's situation is a little more dire and they need a win. A loss in this match would leave Depor a minimum of nine points from safety and effectively toast.
Saturday, March 16th
Real Sociedad vs. Real Valladolid
(16:00 CET, 11:00 a.m. ET)
Sociedad got a huge win over Atletico Madrid last week and pulled even on points with fourth place Malaga, behind only on goal differential. There's a real chance for Philippe Montanier's team to play in the Champions League next season, even if they don't pass Malaga (they're still under UEFA sanctions), but it's always better to finish fourth and not count on UEFA for a favor. Valladolid are heading for a solid mid-table finish and will be looking to play spoiler.
Getafe vs. Atheltic Bilbao
(18:00 CET, 1:00 p.m. ET)
Two straight wins have Athletic clear of the relegation battle, a fight they'd been threatening to get involved in for awhile. Instead, they're heading towards the conclusion of a disappointing season...but that's better than relegation. Getafe are still within striking distance of a European spot but they need to keep winning games if they have any chance.
Real Madrid vs. Mallorca
(20:00 CET, 3:00 p.m. ET)
Real Madrid jumped city rivals Atletico Madrid into second place last weekend, still 13 points behind Barcelona. The Champions League is their focus but keeping their momentum and form with league results are important. Mallorca have won two straight and right on Real Zaragoza's tail for the safety of 17th place. If they can keep winning or at least getting positive results, anything is possible. This one could be tough though.
Valencia vs. Real Betis
(22:00 CET, 5:00 p.m. ET)
BIG GAME ALERT. Valencia's loss to Athletic last week was a real bummer for Los Che and dropped them out of a European spot, a single point behind their opponent this week, Real Betis. This is a massive game for both teams and while it won't decide anything at the moment, as close as things are, a win for either side could prove vital come the end of the season.
Sunday, March 17th
Malaga vs. Espanyol
(12:00 CET, 7:00 a.m. ET)
Malaga are riding high after advancing past Porto in the Champions League, but work remains to be done in the league. Despite having not won in their last three league games, Malaga have managed to hold on to fourth place thanks to everyone behind them being inconsistent. Espanyol have slumped after their strong run pulled them clear of the relegation zone. Nothing turns around a bad run of form like spoiling things for teams chasing European places.
Sevilla FC vs. Real Zaragoza
(17:00 CET, 12:00 p.m. ET)
Sevilla have nothing of importance left to play for but Zaragoza are fighting for survival. With Mallorca on a roll the pressure is on Zaragoza to keep their nose ahead of the pack and out of the drop zone.
Osasuna vs. Atletico Madrid
(19:00 CET, 2:00 p.m. ET)
Two straight poor results have cost Atletico second place. It's possibly they don't really care and know that a Champions League place next season is all but guaranteed and they've still got a shot at Real Madrid coming in the Copa de Rey final. That said, who wouldn't want to finish second and top their rivals? Osasuna are four points clear of the relegation and just want to get a few more points to ensure their safety.
Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano
(21:00 CET, 4:00 p.m. ET)
Barca got their mojo back thanks to a 4-0 thumping of AC Milan in the Champions League. Now they turn their attention back to the league where they are closing in on securing yet another La Liga title. This week's foe is Rayo Vallecano who are scrambling to get themselves back into the Europa League fight.
(21:00 CET, 4:00 p.m. ET)
Levante crashed out of the Europa League and probably won't be able to earn a spot for next season. Granada are still facing the threat of relegation. Despite all that, this is a bit of a dud ending to the week's schedule. Oh well, they can't all be winners.