Thankfully, disputes over player wages have now been resolved in La Liga, meaning that the Spanish season has finally began, albeit that the first round of fixtures have had to be rearranged.
Similar disagreements have also been present in Italy, meaning that their league season has been delayed and it will be at least another week before the big kick off in Serie A.
Therefore, Spain is where the big European football is at this weekend and there are two mouth-watering televised fixtures on Sunday that can be enjoyed.
Up first is Real Madrid’s trip to Real Zaragoza, with Jose Mourinho hoping to collect maximum points to put some early pressure on title rivals Barcelona, who do not start their season until Monday’s clash with Villarreal.
The omens are good for Real Madrid as they have not lost away to Zaragoza since 2002 and have only failed to score in one of their last 29 visits to the opposition.
However, Zaragoza will take confidence from having won at the Bernabeu last season and the fact that Real Madrid have failed to win on the last two occasions that they have begun a La Liga season with an away fixture.
Real Madrid’s odds are 3/10 to beat Zaragoza, with the hosts 8/1 to collect the three points and the draw priced at 9/2.
Although Cristiano Ronaldo is the obvious selection in the first goalscorer market, Karim Benzema has been an inspiration in pre-season and is a viable alternative at 10/3.
Malaga have been the big summer spenders in La Liga and there are some whispers that they may even pose an outside threat to the La Liga title.
They have won all of their pre-season friendlies and start their season away at a Sevilla side low on confidence after a midweek Europa League exit ahead of the group stages of the competition by Hannover.
However, it is Sevilla that are the favourites with home advantage at 5/4, although Malaga are the better value bet at 9/4.
The away double of both Real Madrid and Malaga winning pays just better than 4/1.