There are really no marquee matchups this week, but if you were forced to really find some, then Barcelona-Deportivo could be a match in which the current league leaders could stumble. Barcelona are facing a team that many saw as the surprise team of the season, but they hit the skids in the past couple of matches where they faced Sevilla three time in the past week (for both league and Copa del Rey). They were outscored by the Andalucians 7-1 and their offense seems to have faded, but what better place to come back and steal at least a point from. Add to that the face that Real Madrid play cellar-dwellers Osasuna and a embattled Sevilla side play Numancia and the blaugrana lead could be down to nine by the end of the weekend.
Villarreal could see their ship righted after a period of struggling as host one of the worst road teams in the league-Mallorca. The Mallorcans last win on the road was back on September 28th against Racing Santander. That was also the last time they earned points outside of the island. During the past season, Mallorca have been outscored on the road 21-3. They come in an face a Villarreal side that are winless in their last five matches. Their last win came at the hands of Recreativo back in November 30th.
Hugo Sánchez faces his old team Atlético Madrid at home. It’s the first time ever that two Mexican coaches face off in Spanish football history. El Pentapichichi coaches against his former national team teammate who is currently the boss for the team that gave him the ability to play in Europe back in 1981. Javier Aguirre is currently on the hot seat and any more points that he may lose might mean the end of his tenure at the Vicente Calderón.
BAR: Messi (21′), Henry (27′, 82′), Eto’o (41′, 86′-pk)