La Liga: Opening weekend preview
The football season has finally rolled back around, and La Liga is kicking it off with a fantastic set of fixtures to celebrate.
Last season, Real Madrid ended the 38-game season atop the table, besting Barcelona by three points and Atletico Madrid by a mighty 15 points. This season, the title is predicted to be just as tight, with Barcelona and Real Madrid – who have already won the UEFA Super Cup this season – once again going neck-and-neck to the finish line.
Regarding incomings, La Liga has been relatively quiet, with the biggest transfer being 27-year-old Vitolo from Sevilla to Atletico Madrid – who is out on loan to Las Palmas until Atletico’s transfer ban ends in December.
The giants Real Madrid and Barcelona signed a combined five players £84 million despite both clubs selling players for major money. The reigning champions saw Danilo and Alvaro Morata move to the Premier League for a combined £85.5 million, and Barcelona saw Paris Saint-Germain activate Neymar’s release clause of £198 million.
The new season is kicked off on Friday 18th August with Leganes hosting Deportivo Alaves. Despite the home team narrowly avoiding relegation last season and Alaves finishing in the top ten, Leganes are just favoured at 11/10. Valencia are also expected to defeat Las Palmas at home on the opening day.
Saturday 19th August rolls in Celta Vigo versus Real Sociedad – which looks too close to call – and then some more major teams of La Liga kicking off with Atletico Madrid going to newly promoted Girona to give them a trial by fire. Saturday evening sees Sevilla host Espanyol, which should be quite comfortable for Sevilla.
Another three games are to be played on Sunday 20th August, with Athletic Bilbao expected to defeat Getafe at home, and then the super powers get to start their seasons. Barcelona will host Betis and are 1/7 favourites to win the encounter. Then, later in the evening, the champions Real Madrid travel to face Deportivo, and at 17/2, the hosts don’t look set to defend their home turf.
Monday 21st August sees out the opening week with Levante hosting Villarreal and Eibar travelling to Malaga, both matches set to be closely contested affairs.
It’s not long now until you can get stuck into all of the La Liga action with an exciting set of opening fixtures!