After nearly two weeks away for the kickoff of UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers, club football returns this weekend in Spain with a big time match between two of the country's top clubs.
Thanks to Atlético Madrid's title win last season, their twice annual league games against Real Madrid have become an even bigger deal than before. The rivalry between Los Colchoneros and Los Blancos have always been circled on the calendar, but there's no doubt things are amped up this season. Both clubs have started the season a bit slow, and Real Madrid clearly have some problems in the midfield, which could give Atleéti an advantage.
The two teams played in the two-leg Spanish Super Cup final in August, which was won by Atléti.
While two of the league's title contenders butt heads, Barcelona will have a test of their own as they welcome Athletic Bilbao to the Camp Nou. Luis Enrique's reign with the Blaugrana has gotten off to a good start, and with striker Luis Suárez cleared to return from suspension next month ahead of the the first El Clásico of the season, it could get even better. They already hold a three point lead over both Madrid teams, and depending on the results of the derby, they could expand it even further over one or both sides.
Here's the full schedule of games this weekend in La Liga.
Friday, September 12
Almeria vs. Cordoba | 3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CEST
Saturday, September 13
Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao | 10 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. CEST
Malaga vs. Levante | 12 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. CEST
Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid | 2 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CEST
Sunday, September 14
Rayo Vallecano vs. Elche | 6 a.m. ET, 12 p.m. CEST