James Rodriguez, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Messi, Ronaldo, La Liga
James Rodriguez.Reuters

La Liga action continues after a two week break with the first game of match day 17 set to be played between Espanyol and Deportivo La Coruna on Friday. 

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Table toppers Real Madrid will be looking to keep their unbeaten run in the La Liga intact as they take on Granada, who are caught in a relegation battle at the moment. Real Madrid, who has played a match less compared to their title rivals so far, will have a chance to widen the gap at the top of the table as they look to start the year with a win. Madrid go into this match on the back of a comfortable 3-0 win over Sevilla in the Copa del Rey and given Granada's current form Los Blancos should not have any problems in this match.

Atletico Madrid, who started the season poorly, seems to have got their campaign back on track by winning their last four matches. Atletico Madrid will take on Eibar. Atletico currently sits in sixth position on the table and with the La Liga title realistically out of reach they need to focus on securing Champions League spot for next season. The match against Eibar will not be an easy one. Eibar has lost just one match in their last five outings and has only lost one game at home so far. The likes of Griezmann, Carrasco and Gaitan will have to step up for Atletico to keep the momentum going.

The big match of Saturday sees third place Sevilla taking on fifth place Real Sociedad. Sevilla has improved a lot under new coach Jorge Sampaoli this season and is currently just one point behind Barcelona and four points behind Real Madrid. Given there is such a tight gap at the top of the table, Sevilla will fancy their chances for the title this season. But Sevilla will have to be at the top of their game as Real Sociedad boasts of a good home record.

The pick of this weekend's fixtures will no doubt by the clash between Villarreal and Barcelona. Both teams go into this fixture on the back of defeats in the Copa Del Rey with Villarreal losing to Real Sociedad and Barcelona losing to Athletic Club. Prior to that loss both teams were unbeaten in their last four matches and Barcelona will be eager to get the three points this match as they look to close the gap on their arch rivals Real Madrid.

Here is a look at all the La Liga matches

January 6 Espanyol vs. Deportivo La Coruna 7:45 pm local time (1:15 am IST, 2:45 pm ET)
January 7 Real Madrid vs. Granada 12:00 am (5:30 pm IST, 7pm ET)
January 7 Eibar vs. Atletico Madrid 3:15 pm (8:45 pm IST, 10:15 am ET)
January 7 Las Palmas vs. Sporting Gijon 5:30 pm (11 pm IST, 12:30 pm ET)
January 7 Real Sociedad vs. Sevilla 7:45 pm (1:15 am IST, 2:45 pm ET)
January 8 Athletic Club vs. Deportivo Alaves 11 am (4:30 pm IST, 6pm ET)
January 8 Real Betis vs. Leganes 3:15 pm (8:45 pm IST, 10:15 am ET)
January 8 Celta de Vigo vs. Malaga 5:30 pm (11 pm IST, 12:30 pm ET)
January 8 Villarreal vs. Barcelona 7:45 pm (1:15 am IST, 2:45 pm ET)
January 9 Osasuna vs. Valencia 7:45 pm (1:15 am IST, 2:45 pm ET)