The German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 are all paused for the holidays and the FA Cup has taken over the schedule in England, leaving just Spain’s La Liga playing top-flight regular-season matches this weekend. Fortunately there are a few compelling matchups on tap:
La Liga: One of the most interesting stories in European soccer this season has been the triumph and tragedy of SD Huesca, a club with a century-long history that is playing in Spain’s top division for the first time. And the woefully underfunded team, which plays in a 7,600-seat stadium, has struggled as expected, winning just once in 17 tries. It will go for No. 2 Saturday when it hosts red-hot Real Betis, which has lost just once since October (BeIN Sports, 11:45 a.m. PST). On Sunday, league-leading Barcelona travels to Getafe, which is unbeaten in its last five (BeIN Sports, 11:45 a.m. PST). Barcelona’s Lionel Messi tops the league in both goals (15) and assists (10) in 15 games. In second place behind Barcelona is Atletico Madrid and World Cup champion Antoine Griezmann, whose six assists trails only Messi. Atletico will need at least a draw to hold its place in the table Sunday when it plays at third-place Sevilla, which has an eight-game unbeaten streak in league play (BeIN Sports, 7:15 a.m. PST). Atletico’s lone La Liga loss was on Sept. 1.