The two late Saturday matches headline Round 14 of La Liga with the 150th edition of El Derbi Barceloní between local rivals FC Barcelona and Espanyol and a top-three clash with 3rd place Valencia hosting 2nd place Real Madrid. Two other intriguing matches include high-flying Mallorca hoping to take their stellar home form and infuse it into their mediocre away record against Osasuna in Pamplona and El Derbi Decepción (The Disappointment Derby) between perennial high finishers Atlético Madrid and Villarreal. Currently Atleti is 13th and Villarreal is 11th, but both have had a string of decent results in the past few weeks and will look to continue their good play against each other.
The times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST) and include the pregame pleasantries, although sometimes the matches on the DIRECTV La Liga specific channels may not go to match coverage until right before kickoff.
Real Zaragoza vs. Athletic Bilbao – 11:55 AM on GOL TV
Barcelona vs. Espanyol – 1:55 PM on GOL TV
Valencia vs. Real Madrid – 3:55 PM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360
Osasuna vs. Mallorca – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 456
Getafe vs. Tenerife – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 457
Real Valladolid vs. Málaga – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 458
Almería vs. Deportivo La Coruña – 10:55 AM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360
Atlético Madrid vs. Villarreal – 12:55 PM on GOL TV
Sporting Gijón vs. Sevilla – 2:55 PM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360
Unfortunately, the Racing Santander – Xerez match will not be shown on US TV.
UEFA Europa League
Also in the midweek, the last round of matches in the UEFA Europa League group stage commences with two of the three Spanish teams already securing their places in the Round of 32 knockout stage. Villarreal will finish second in their group with Red Bull Salzburg as the top team, and Athletic Bilbao will face group leaders Werder Bremen with a chance to top their group. Athletic would either have to beat Bremen by three goals or defeat Bremen by two goals and concede one or less away goals to finish first in the group, but knowing that their passage to the next round is secure should relax the Basques. Valencia’s future is not fully settled, but as long as they do not lose to Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, they will head into the Round of 32 as the winner of Group B. The only way Valencia does not advance to the next stage is if they lose to Genoa and Lille defeat Slavia Prague.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Werder Bremen – Wednesday, December 16 at 3:00 PM on GOL TV
Genoa vs. Valencia – Thursday, December 17 at 12:55 PM on GOL TV
Villarreal vs. Red Bull Salzburg – Thursday, December 17 at 3:00 on DirecTV channel 462 (462-1 for HD)
FIFA Club World Cup
FC Barcelona will travel to the United Arab Emirates next week for the FIFA Club World Cup, and Pep Guardiola will look to continue his undefeated record in all competitions entered since he became manager of Barcelona in the summer of 2008. Pedro Rodríguez will hope to score in the Club World Cup to extend his record of scoring in six different competitions in one season. He has already scored in the UEFA Super Cup, the Supercopa de España, La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League.
FC Barcelona vs. the Auckland City/Atlante winner – Wednesday, December 16 at 11:00 AM on Fox Soccer Channel