With the winter break looming, La Liga is set for the penultimate match week of 2014. After some early season excitement at the top with new faces, the usual suspects have taken over the title race with Real Madrid leading the way, two points ahead of Barcelona and four points clear of Atlético Madrid.
Real Madrid makes a rare Friday night appearance as they travel to face Almeria. The reason for this match's odd scheduling is Madrid's upcoming participation in the FIFA Club World Cup next week in Morocco. It's a busy time for Los Blancos so there's a good chance Carlo Ancelotti could rest some players on Friday, after they just played their final Champions League group stage on Tuesday.
Barcelona defeated PSG to win their UCL group and must now turn their attention to Getafe while Atlético Madrid face a challenge in the form of sixth-place Villarreal, who are fresh off a big win over Real Sociedad.
The most interesting match of the week is the Basque Derby between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad. After a horrible start to the season, Athletic have bounced back a bit, working their way up to 10th in the table. La Real had looked a bit better under new head coach David Moyes but they hit the speed bump last week in a 4-0 loss to the Yellow Submarine. It's the first Derby for Moyes at La Real, so the pressure will be on to get a result.
Friday, Dec. 12
Almería vs. Real Madrid | 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. CEST
Saturday, Dec. 13
Getafe vs. Barcelona | 10 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. CEST
Córdoba vs. Levante | 2 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CEST
Sunday, Dec. 14
Espanyol vs. Granada | 6 a.m. ET, 12 p.m. CEST
Sevilla vs. Eibar | 11 a.m. ET, 5 p.m. CEST
Atlético Madrid vs. Villarreal | 1 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CEST
Real Sociedad vs. Athletic Club | 3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CEST
Monday, Dec. 15
Deportivo la Coruña vs. Elche | 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. CEST