The Roscón de Reyes is traditionally eaten on Epiphany, January 6. A round, candied sweet bread, there is a hidden "Jesus doll" inside the bread, and the person who ends up with the doll is crowned "King of the Day."

Only the players know whether Los Magos (The Magi) left them with treats or a lump of coal in their shoes on Epiphany, but with this weekend’s matches upcoming, they can begin the process of maintaining their good form or making up for their naughty play from last year.  The preeminent fixture will be the Real Madrid – Mallorca clash on Sunday.

Mallorca has risen to fourth place mainly due to their home form, where they have won all eight matches played at the ONO Estadi this season.  The only other team that has a 100% record at home?  Real Madrid.  Mallorca has won only once out of eight on their travels, and the trend should render a Real Madrid at home, but Mallorca was not supposed to be in the top four at this point of the season, so trends and past history do not mean anything to them at this moment.

Valencia will feel strange playing on the traditional Sunday 5:00 PM local time, as all of their previous games have been at the Saturday or Sunday marquee times.  The reason: they are at El Chapín to visit cellar-dweller Xerez.  Not the sexiest game ever, and thus, Valencia has been bumped off the glamour TV times.

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.

Jan. 9

Real Valladolid vs. Atlético Madrid – 11:55 AM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360

Sevilla vs. Racing Santander – 1:55 PM on Gol TV

Villarreal vs. Almería – 3:45 PM on DirecTV channel 456

Jan. 10

Sporting Gijón vs. Getafe – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 456

Espanyol vs. Real Zaragoza – 10:45 AM on DirecTV channel 457

Deportivo La Coruña vs. Osasuna – 10:55 AM on Gol TV

Xerez vs. Valencia – 10:55 AM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360

Real Madrid vs. Mallorca – 12:55 PM on Gol TV

Tenerife vs. Barcelona – 2:55 PM on ESPN/ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360

Unfortunately, the Málaga – Athletic Bilbao matchup at La Rosaleda will not be seen on US TV.

Copa del Rey

After exciting first legs to the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, these teams will meet again in the second legs this coming midweek.  Except for Atlético Madrid’s embarrassing show against Recreativo Huelva, all other ties are either tied or are separated by a slim goal.  Will Barcelona be able to overturn their deficit against Sevilla to continue their defense of the title?  Could all five lower division teams actually progress to the quarterfinals?  For a competition that most La Liga teams see as a time to play their fringe players or their academy players, they may not have that luxury in these second legs.

Jan. 12

Villarreal vs. Celta de Vigo – 4:55 PM on Gol TV (Villarreal 1-1 Celta de Vigo after the first leg)

Jan. 13

Racing Santander vs. Alcorcón – 1:55 PM on ESPN 360 (Racing Santander 2-3 Alcorcón after the first leg)

Deportivo La Coruña vs. Valencia – 1:55 PM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360 (Deportivo La Coruña 2-1 Valencia after the first leg)

Sevilla vs. Barcelona – 3:55 PM on Gol TV (Sevilla 2-1 Barcelona after the first leg)

Jan. 14

Mallorca vs. Rayo Vallecano – 1:55 PM on Gol TV (Mallorca 1-2 Rayo Vallecano after the first leg)

Atlético Madrid vs. Recreativo Huelva – 3:55 PM on ESPN Deportes/ESPN 360 (Atlético Madrid 0-3 after the first leg)

UPDATE: The Racing Santander – Alcorcón second leg will no longer be shown on ESPN 360.