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La Liga Preview – Matchday One

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Hola and Gracias! All the other major European Leagues are back up and running and now finally it’s time for the new La Liga season to begin.

Can Luis Enrique replicate the treble from last season for Barcelona, will Rafa Benitez bring the title back to Real Madrid and could Diego Simeone once again surprise everyone and bring the title to Atletico? All these questions and so many more will be answered and many more will be answered throughout this season and you can follow it all with us every step of the way.

Here at The Sports Lowdown, we will bring you a preview of each weekends action for La Liga, so don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @TheSportLowdown and also like our Facebook page.


Malaga vs Sevilla – La Rosaleda – Kick-off: 19:30

Sevilla will be aiming to break into the threshold of reaching the Top 4 after a 5th place finish and a second consecutive Europa League triumph last campaign, although with the loss of their talisman, Carlos Bacca, they will have to turn to others to produce the levels of goals that Bacca did for them. Meanwhile, Malaga had a solid if unspectacular campaign last time around in mid-table and will be hoping to improve and push further on and possibly even reach European qualification this time around.


Deportivo vs Real Sociedad – Riazor – Kick-off: 17:30

Depor managed to pull off another great escape after coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at the Nou Camp away at Barcelona to survive again last season but they know they’re walking the tightrope and one day they won’t pull off the miracle and they need to improve in all areas of their game. It was a big learning curve for David Moyes last season when he arrived in Spain midway through last season, having to adapt quickly to a new League and a new country but he managed it and steered Sociedad clear of danger. One problem that Moyes will aim to improve on his side this time around is away from, with only 1 win on their travels last season means they must pick up more pints on the road if they’re to be a top competitive side and having perfected that craft at Everton, Moyes knows how to get his sides to play well and solidly on the road and will do so this weekend.

Espanyol vs Getafe – Power8 Stadium – Kick-off: 17:30

Getafe also walked the tightrope for much of last season and acted swiftly as new manager Fran Escriba has been bought in to steer the club back safely to mid-table away from the jaws of the relegation zone this time. Espanyol had a steady season last year, often you felt they were doing all that was required to keep them in mid-table without the need to push on further. The fans will be hoping to see more ambition from their side this campaign.

Atletico Madrid vs Las Palmas – Vicente Calderon – Kick-off: 19:30

Diego Simeone struggled to replicate his title win and Champions League Final run from 2013-14 season as his side failed to defend their title last season, the famous tight defences was penetrated too often last season and without Diego Costa up front to score the goals, they struggled in games they won easily beforehand, Simeone will be aiming to get back to Barca and Real’s level and the step to that could be to get Fernando Torres, who’s still at the club on loan from Milan, scoring and recreating the talisman from his breakthrough in the Atletico side 10 years ago. Las Palmas won the decider against Zaragoza to return to La Liga but manager Paco Herrera is fully aware that his side must be at 100% every week of every game this season if they’re to survive and maintain their La Liga status.

Rayo Vallecano vs Valencia – Vallecas – Kick-off: 21:30

Valencia managed to reach their way into the Champions League last season pinching the spot from Sevilla on the final day of last season and the club will be aiming to build on that and now making Alvaro Negredo a permanent signing to the side they’ll feel confident of replicating and maybe even bettering their finish of last season. Vallecano had an indifferent season, sometimes brilliant against the big sides but often found wanting against the lesser sides so they main aim is to improve consistency and they could break into the top half of the table and if things go very well, who knows.

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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona – San Mames – Kick-off: 17:30

After the extraordinary Spanish Super Cup victory just a few days ago, Bilbao will be feeling very optimistic of a very good season this time. Europa League qualification last time was considered a good step forward but due to their performance, especially in the first leg, winning 4-0, they seriously feel that a Champions League spot is a realistic prospect this season. For Barcelona, they already have problems, they’ve conceded 9 goals in their 3 Cup games so far, 4 vs Sevilla in the European Super Cup and 5 altogether vs Bilbao, add to that the needless Red Card that Gerard Pique picked up in the 2nd leg for his verbal assault on the linesman gives Luis Enrique a serious headache. It was already going to be incredibly difficult to replicate his incredible first season in charge of the Catalans but now they face an uphill climb to improve and hold onto the title this time around.

Sporting Gijon vs Real Madrid – El Molinon – Kick-off: 19:30

New Real boss Rafa Benitez will take over the poisoned chalice of managing the Los Blancos and the egos that come with that responsibility. The main objectives will be to get Gareth Bale firing on all cylinders this season and improve Madrid’s ability to lose cheap points to the lower sides which too often has been their detriment in previous seasons, and to create a cohesion and harmony in the dressing room at the Bernabeu. On the other hand Gijon return to La Liga after three seasons away in the doldrums and opening matches don’t come much harder than the visit of the famous all-whites, home form is going to be vital id they’re to survive this season.

Levante vs Celta Vigo – Ciutat de Valencia – Kick-off: 21:30

Levante dangled with the danger of relegation towards the end of last season which got to close for their fans liking, which is surprising considering they possess a very good squad which should be aiming for much higher placings in the League. Celta Vigo enjoyed a good season but just missed out on achieving European football which has to be their aim this time as they were only 4 points off a European place last campaign.

Real Betis vs Villarreal – Benito Villamarin – Kick-off: 21:30

Betis return to the big leagues after a year away in the Segunda and will be aiming to avoid an immediate return to the second tier of Spanish football; the acquisition of Rafa Van Der Vaart will have some very good firepower in their side which stands them in good stead for the season ahead. Villarreal have also recruited a big striker, Roberto Soldado, after two painful seasons at Tottenham Hotspur which he lost form, belief, confidence and struggled personally, in his own words, he returns to the League where he was one of the most feared strikers, who’s goalscoring record was only bettered by Messi and Ronaldo, he’ll be desperate to replicate that form again back on home soil.


Granada vs Eibar – Nuevo Los Carmenes – Kick-off: 19:30

Granada and Eibar were spared the drop down to the Segunda due to Elche entering administration, but after a terrible season where both sides spent the majority of it in the red zone both teams know they must improve their levels or face going down this time. New Eibar manager Jose Luis Mendilibar knows he has work cut to keep his new side above the water this time around, meanwhile Granada started last season before a major collapse in form almost cost them their league status so they’ll be aiming to keep the good form of last season and carry that through to this season.

Athletic Bilbao Atletico Madrid Barcelona Celta Vigo Deportivo Eibar Espanyol Getafe Granada la liga Las Palmas Levante Malaga Rayo Vallecano Real Betis Real Madrid Real Sociedad Sevilla Sporting Gijon Valencia Villareal

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