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La Liga, Week 17: Villarreal meets Sevilla in the week's key match-up

All three of the leagues top teams face mid-table opponents while Sevilla's trip to El Madrigal is the week's biggest match.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

Every team in La Liga had a busy week dealing with second leg matches for this season's Copa del Rey, but there's no rest for the weary in Spain.

The three top teams in Spain face mid-table foes this week with Barcelona traveling to Getafe and Real Madrid on the road against Valencia. Atlético Madrid meanwhile get a home match against Levante. Barca remains in front of Atléti on a tiebreaker alone with both sides even on points and goal differential. Expect thing to stay tight until the two teams finally play for the first time this season in mid-January.

The rest of the European spot battlers are busy as well with Villarreal's match against Sevilla likely to be the best match of the week, at least in terms of the storyline. The Yellow Submarine had an extremely disappointing performance against Barcelona last weekend and can't afford to linger on that if they want to keep pace with Athletic Bilbao for the final Champions League spot.

La Real will chase their fourth straight win against Granada who would love to jump into the Europa League fight with a win.

At the bottom of the table, 18th placed Almeria meets 20th placed Real Betis in an absolutely massive mid-season relegation six pointer. Betis can ill afford to allow the team around them to create space by taking points at their expense if they want to turn their season around.

Friday, December 20th

Elche vs. Málaga | 2:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. CEST

Saturday, December 21st

Villarreal vs. Sevilla  | 10:00 a.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. CEST
Real Betis vs. Almeria | 12:00 p.m. ET, 6:00 p.m. CEST
Atlético Madrid vs. Levante | 2:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. CEST
Granada vs. Real Soceidad | 4:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. CEST

Sunday, December 22nd

Espanyol vs. Real Valladolid | 6:00 a.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CEST
Getafe vs. Barcelona | 11:00 a.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. CEST
Athletic Bilbao vs. Rayo Vallecano | 1:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CEST
Celta Vigo vs. Osasuna | 3:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. CEST
Valencia vs. Real Madrid | 3:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. CEST