The new season is almost upon us, and as is tradition, La Liga have left it late to reveal their fixtures for the new campaign.
But better late than never. The calendar has been revealed and we’re on hand to run you through the key fixtures for the title contenders.
Lionel Messi and his Camp Nou crew are 8/11 favourites, and they should get off to a flying start.
Barca’s opening six games see them play Alaves, Real Valladolid, Huesca, Real Sociedad, Girona and Leganes.
Away trips to Valladolid and Sociedad could be tricky but it’s a kind start overall.
Things get tough after that though, with Barca set to play Athletic Bilbao, Valencia and Sevilla in succession right before the first El Clasico at the Camp Nou on the weekend of 27th October.
Ernesto Valverde’s men head to the WANDA Metropolitano in late November, with their trip to the Bernabeu pencilled in for early March. Atletico will visit the Camp Nou at the start of April.
It’s a new era for Real, who begin life after Cristiano Ronaldo with games against Getafe, Girona and Leganes.
A difficult few weeks lurk soon after, however. Gameweeks four and six see Real head to Bilbao and Sevilla respectively.
That trip to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium comes just four days before they’re scheduled to play the first Madrid derby of the season.
On paper Real’s opening seven games are far trickier, so don’t be surprised to see Barca pull out an early lead in the table.
The only other side with a realistic shot at the title at 14/1, 2014 champions Atletico have been handed a firm test straight out the blocks when they head to Valencia on the opening weekend.
Simeone’s men face Vallecano, Celta Vigo, Eibar, Getafe and Huesca after that, so they should be full of momentum for the first Madrid derby in late September.
They’ll be hosting Barcelona on the weekend of 24th November, while their first game after the winter break is a tricky trip south to Sevilla.
Atleti host Real on the weekend of 9th February, before heading to Barcelona on the 6th April for what could be a crucial match-up on gameweek 33.
Dates for the diary (subject to TV schedules)
El Clasico: Barcelona v Real Madrid – 27th Oct / Real Madrid v Barcelona – 2nd March
Madrid derby: Real v Atletico – 26th Sept / Atletico v Real – 9th Feb
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