While Barcelona are going viral by taking the mickey out of anyone and everyone who crosses their part, the rest of La Liga is trying to catch up the huge gap between them and Luis Enrique’s Catalans. Matches this week will change the top and bottom of the table regardless of results, we could see Villareal make a real statement.
Athletic vs Real Sociedad – 5:15pm Sunday – Sky Sports Xtra
What’s the best way to announce yourself to the Spanish media? Score the winner in a derby match, in the home of your arch rivals, and that’s what Mikel Oyarzabal will want to do. At just 18, there’s the question about whether he’ll have the grit to take a kicking from the Bilbao defenders. The last four Basque derbies have been draws, Athletic haven’t won one in the last eight meetings, it’s a shocking record. Don’t expect a lot of goals either. I’m thinking another draw with ‘Bigfoot’ Oyarzabal to score
Malaga vs Real Madrid – 3pm Sunday – Sky Sports 3
This is a huge game for Real if they want to get back into the title chase. But it’s sticky. Malaga have been the kings of the goal less draw in Spain this year, including getting one at the Bernabeu. And with Raphael Varane missing for Madrid, there’s a chance of a shock. It’s Zidane’s first real test as a manager, the fixture congestion comes in from here, and away at a hostile ground, I’m tipping a score draw
Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal – 19:30 Sunday – Sky Sports 3
Atleti have a six point lead over Villareal, and Fernando Torress after going months without scoring has two in his last two, finally taking him past the 100 goal mark in La Liga. Villareall have Europa League during the week, so will want to rest some of their bigger names in preparation for that. Atleti are in the title race, and another simple win to keep pace. Torres to score and Atletico to win