clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spanish La Liga 2011, Week 10 Preview And Fixtures: Surging Real Madrid Face Basque Test

Write it down people: It's Week 10 of La Liga and the standings are 1) Levante 2) Real Madrid 3) Barcelona.

It's a week of consolidation in La Liga, as the big boys take on historically--but not currently--competitive sides in Real Sociedad and Mallorca, and shock-leader Levante travels to perennially mid-table Osasuna. Fun-to-watch-but-not-really-that-good sides Valencia and Athletic Bilbao will get shots at a couple mid-level-to-bad teams, so, like normal, those matches should be fun to watch. Here's my main narrative wager for this week (i.e. what story will dominate the narrative): "will Villarreal get relegated now that Giuseppe Rossi is injured?" (-200) should edge out "is Real Madrid better than Barça right now?" (-150) and perennial also-rans "is Levante really this good?" (+200), partially because the second two questions are stupid.

Saturday, October 28

Valencia vs. Getafe

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

Well, while we don't ever know how well Valencia is going to play before they step on the pitch, we have a pretty good idea how good (bad) Getafe are. Normally, I'd be tempted to pick an upset here, but I think Valencia is due for a strong run of form after a couple lackluster performances.

Pick: 2-0 Seriously, Pedro León is Getafe's best player, and Dani Güiza is their main goalscoring threat. Come on.

Villarreal vs. Rayo Vallecano

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

So this is it. This is Villarreal's last stand. They're without Giuseppe Rossi, but at home facing a recently-promoted side that's really not that good. If they don't win, they cement themselves in the relegation battle this year; if they win, they live to fight another day. Not a great time to be a Villarreal fan (sorry VillarrealUSA).

Pick: 1-0 to Villarreal. Skin on their chinny chin chin and such.

FC Barcelona vs. Mallorca

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

Mallorca's bus will be firmly parked throughout this match--we're talking no keys in the ignition, emergency brake set, lock on the wheels parked. And given Leo Messi's recent form, this might actually work out for Mallorca. I wouldn't bet anything on it though.

Pick: 1-0 to Barça, who know how to scrape by park-the-bus sides.

Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid

22:00 CET (4:00 PM EST)

It's a rematch of the epic 2002-2003 season! Real Sociedad, featuring a lineup that bears absolutely no resemblance to that awesome Xabi Alonso-Nihat side will try to fend off a Real Madrid squad that's playing arguably the best football in the world. But hey, the Basques hate Real Madrid.

Pick: 1-3, but maybe Madrid will actually play well in the second half this time.

Sunday, October 29

Sporting vs. Athletic Bilbao

12:00 CET (6:00 AM EST)

Finally, the Asian markets get to see Marcelo Bielsa! Wait, is that a good thing? (Yes).

Pick: 1-2, but man, these guys are unpredictable.

Osasuna vs. Levante

16:00 CET (10:00 AM EST)

Levante rallied from a goal deficit against Real Sociedad, to win 3-2 in a heart-pounding match that left me incredibly satisfied and excited. What're the odds that happens again?

Pick: 0-0, but I'd warn you that I haven't been right about Levante all year.

Racing Santander vs. Real Betis

18:00 CET (12:00 PM EST)

The most interesting thing about this match? Both teams have green/white kits.

Pick: 0-1.

Atlético Madrid vs. Zaragoza

20:00 CET (2:00 PM EST)

If Atleti lose to Zaragoza, I'll officially abandon my "Atleti is going to be good this year theory," just like I abandoned my "Don't sleep on the St. Louis Rams" theory after Week 2 in the NFL. Come on Falcao! Show me some love!

Pick: 2-1 to Atleti. I'm 90% out on Atleti anyways.

Málaga vs. Espanyol

22:00 CET (4:00 PM EST)

Espanyol scraped out a 1-0 win last weekend against a below-mediocre Real Betis side (sound familiar?); Málaga lost away 2-0 to bottom feeders Rayo Vallecano. Does it feel like I've given this exact story before? If Málaga keep losing, I'm going to have to rethink another one of my preseason theories, the "Málaga are gonna be top 5 this season, I promise!" theory.

Pick: 2-1 to Málaga.

Monday, October 30

Sevilla vs. Granada

21:00 CET (3:00 PM EST)

Another Andalucía derby! Except this one isn't nearly as fun as Sevilla - Bétis, or my personal favorite, Cádiz - Málaga (ese Cadi oé! Yes, I live in Cádiz). I expect a lot more blow-out-ness in this one.

Pick: 3-1 to Sevilla.