Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán houses the match of the weekend, although the LFP did not grant the match with a glamorous time, as Sevilla hosts Atlético Madrid in a match where both teams will likely fight for a Champions League spot by the end of the season. Sevilla sacked Antonio Álvarez after they could not muster a convincing fight against Hércules last weekend, and Gregorio Manzano, the former Mallorca manager that many expected to be Sevilla manager before the start of this campaign, steps into the cauldron.
Although Sevilla won his first match in charge at the Signal Iduna Park against Borussia Dortmund 0-1 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, the ills that have ailed this team to this point have not been cured overnight with Manzano’s arrival. Frédéric Kanouté continues to fight injuries, Luís Fabiano continues to mope around and play at 70% of his capability, and the creativity in the midfield continues to lack despite their acquisitions of Luca Cigarini and Tiberio Guarente, as Sevilla misses the Brazilian playmaker Renato, stuck on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
For Atlético Madrid, their focus to reverse their mediocre domestic form from last season has affected their European play as they have earned only one point out of six from their first two UEFA Europa League matches. So while they looked less than committed against Aris and Bayer Leverkusen, Atlético Madrid will roar their engines at full blast against a direct rival for a top four finish in La Liga.
Sergio Agüero, who has suffered with a bruised knee in the past few weeks, came on as a substitute against Leverkusen and performed better than expected as he tries to recover as quickly as possible to his best form. Tomáš Ujfaluši will return at right back after his two game ban for his dangerous tackle on Lionel Messi, and with Ujfaluši back, los colchoneros will be at full strength to counter a desperate Sevilla side, if a seventh-placed team after five rounds can be desperate, that has only lost once at home to the Atleti in the last five matches.
The late Saturday kickoff provides an intriguing matchup as La Liga leaders Valencia welcomes Athletic Bilbao to the Mestalla. Los Che will want to head into the international break on top of the table, and they will want to erase the memory of their 0-1 loss at home against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday as quickly as possible because they looked almost afraid to win despite outplaying United for most of the match.
Athletic is still crying about Fernando Amorebieta’s red card against FC Barcelona last weekend, and they will need to overlook that incident and move on as they will contend with Aritz Aduriz, Roberto Soldado or both. Aitor Ocio will likely start in place of Amorebieta, and the veteran central defender will only make his second appearance in just under a year after suffering a season-ending injury last season.
The times listed are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) 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. Sporting Gijón – 11:55 AM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN3
Real Sociedad vs. Espanyol – 1:55 PM on Gol TV HD
Valencia vs. Athletic Bilbao – 3:55 PM on Gol TV HD
Getafe vs. Hércules – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 477
Villarreal vs. Racing de Santander – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 478
Almería vs. Málaga – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 479
Sevilla vs. Atlético Madrid – 10:55 AM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN3
FC Barcelona vs. Mallorca – 12:55 PM on Gol TV HD
Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruña – 2:55 PM on ESPN2 HD/ESPN Deportes/ESPN3
Unfortunately, the Osasuna – Levante at the Estadio Reyno de Navarra will not be shown on US TV.