Time flies when you're dealing with European tournaments so even though it feels like the last match week just ended, we've already circled back around for another week of La Liga action.
This week's schedule is a bit light on marquee match-ups but there are a couple interesting morsels on the buffet for us to enjoy. Valencia and Sevilla face off with both sides in desperate need of a win and La Real will try to recover from a rough night in the Champions League.
Let's take a look at five matches worth your attention this week in Spain.
Real Sociedad vs. Malaga | Saturday - 10:00 a.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. CEST
Malaga have been steadily improving each week, reaching a pinnacle last weekend with a 5-0 demolition of Rayo. Real Sociedad have been struggling and are coming off a really poor performance in the Champions League. This match should provide an interesting contrast and a solid test for both teams. La Real needs to bounce back and Malaga could make a statement of intent with a victory.
Rayo Vallecano vs. Barcelona | Saturday - 2:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. CEST
Barcelona got a little breathing room between themselves and Real Madrid thanks to Villarreal holding them last weekend. Now they just need to avoid giving the points back after a busy week of Champions League play. Rayo have given up a ton of goals already this season and don't look particularly strong, so any result for them would be a bit of a shock.
Espanyol vs. Athletic Bilbao | Monday - 4:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. CEST
This should be the week's best match, at least in terms of storyline when 5th placed Athletic Club travels to face 6th placed Espanyol. Both teams won last week and will be looking to continue the momentum that comes from a solid start to the season.
Celta Vigo vs. Villarreal | Sunday- 11:00 a.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. CEST
At some point we're going to accept that Villarreal are going to stay at the top end of the table this season but as a promoted side, there's always going to be lingering doubts about their rather meteoric return to relevancy. They passed last week's test against Real Madrid with mostly flying colors -- they probably should have won -- and Celta will give them another solid test as they pushed Athletic Bilbao last week.
Raise your hand if you thought Valencia and Sevilla would be sitting 16th and 19th respectively, even these early in the season. I see no hands, nor should there be any hands in the air. Neither Los Che or Sevilla have done much right so far and there's going to start being some serious pressure on Miroslav Đukić and Unai Emery very, very soon. A win for either side could give them a much needed boost and as both have Europa League matches on Thursday, there won't be any advantages to be had there.
Here's the rest of the week five schedule in La Liga:
Osasuna vs. Elche | Friday - 3:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. CEST
Almeria vs. Levante | Saturday - 12:00 p.m. ET, 6:00 p.m. CEST
Real Valladolid vs. Atletico Madrid | Saturday - 4:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. CEST
Real Madrid vs. Getafe | Saturday - 1:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CEST