The disproportionate television deal which favours Real Madrid and Barcelona can often be held as an example as to why teams in La Liga can't compete, but a new investigation looks at the 'clásico' pairing and five other clubs to see if they have benefitted from illegal state aid.
Joaquín Almunia of the European Commission states that clubs cannot: "live at the expense of the taxpayer." Possible tax privileges of Barça, Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna also face examination, as they are not registered corporations like the 16 other teams in the Primera División.
Atlético Madrid 1.14, a draw 7.75, Levante 15.00
Atlético Madrid can go top if they better Barcelona's scoreline which would be the perfect Yuletide present for the fans. Diego Simeone's team are six points better off than at this stage last season when they also enjoyed a similar good opening spell. Vicente Calderón is a fortress with Atléti winning all eight of their home games in the league, conceding only four goals. They have six consecutive clean sheets at the ground, whilst scoring 23 times in the process.
Victory over Elche broke a run of four straight defeats for Levante. Their lack of goals is certainly a worry given the formidable defence of their opponents. It's 4.75 for there to be over 2.5 goals in the first-half as Atléti look to blow Levante away as quick as possible.
Score Prediction: Atlético Madrid 4 Levante 0 (8.50)
Getafe 7.50, a draw 4.50, Barcelona 1.40
"Facing Barça three times in the next month is fine for a small team. Now we shall play some attractive games and the media will see a little more of Getafe," commented President Ángel Torres. Madrid's third club need all the help they can get as thousands of empty seats surround the faithful supporters that make the effort to attend the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. On the pitch things are going well for Luis García who described the 4-1 win over Girona in the Copa del Rey as "a nice gift for Christmas."
Reports in Argentina suggest Gerardo 'Tata' Martino will leave Barcelona in the summer after just one season at the Camp Nou. Sources claim he has told those close to him that he is "not happy" and feels "uncomfortable." One man who is definitely not on the way out is Andrés Iniesta. The midfielder signed a new three-year contract, with President Sandro Rosell confirming: "He will stay with us until 2018 and he could renew every year after that based on his playing performances."
Getafe don't concede many goals unless they are up against Spain's elite. Games against cross-town rivals Atlético and Real Madrid saw Los Azulones beaten 11 times, the same amount of goals as against the other 14 teams they have played. The -2 handicap for Barcelona will give you 3.90 if they win by three goals.
Score Prediction: Getafe 0 Barcelona 3 (10.00)
Valencia 5.40, a draw 4.20, Real Madrid 1.60
Miroslav Đukić became the third manager to lose his job in La Liga this season after defeat last weekend. President Amadeo Salvo had previously insisted that the former Real Valladolid boss would continue to the end of the campaign no matter what. "Perhaps it was a miscalculation to have so strongly said that and I take responsibility. I cannot change what I said, and yes I reaffirm that when I said it I was convinced," he retracted. Sporting Director Francisco Rufete has placed 'B' team coach Nico Estévez in temporary control of first team affairs until a replacement is found.
Cristiano Ronaldo spoke to TalkSport this week. His support for the current Real Madrid manager was simultaneous with a dig at the recently departed one. "[Ancelotti] is a fantastic man and fantastic person. He was a player before so he has experience of how to deal with players." Sergio Ramos will play after his suspension was overturned and Gareth Bale is expected to recover from his calf injury.
The loss against Atléti was the first time that Los Che had failed to score in the league this season. Both teams to score in the first-half can be found at 3.25.
Score Prediction: Valencia 1 Real Madrid 3 (11.00)
Bet now on all the weekend La Liga action
Follow Paul Wilkes' La Liga tips every week