Matchday one in La Liga didn’t disappoint with Champions Real Madrid faltering at home to Valencia, Pep who? as Tito Vilanova starts off his reign as Barcelona coach with a comfortable victory against Real Sociedad while 16 year-old Fabrice Olinga became La Liga youngest ever goalscoerer when he got the winner for Malaga against Celta Vigo. Here’s a preview of this weekend’s La liga fixtures.
Osasuna v Barcelona
New Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova started off with a good victory at home to Real Sociedad last weekend but they face a tough task away to Osasuna. The Catalan giants thrashed Osasuna 8-0 at the Nou Camp last September but were then beaten 3-2 at the Estadio Reyno de Navarra in the return meeting in February. Meanwhile, Vilanova has rallied to the cause of goalkeeper Victor Valdes on Friday, whose blunder on Thursday enabled Real to score what could be an all-important second goal when the two sides meet again in the second leg of their Super Cup clash on Wednesday. Vilanova knows that they must keep their focus at the El Sadar Stadium or else Osasuna could shock them again on Sunday.
Getafe v Real Madrid
Reigning champions Real Madrid will look to bounce back from their midweek 3-2 Supercopa de Espana defeat to arch rivals Barcelona on Sunday. Jose Mourinho’s men make the short trip to Getafe for their second match of the La Liga season still looking for their first win after Real could only draw 1-1 at home to Valencia. Getefe suffered defeat away to Seville last week but they will be looking to make Madrid wait a little longer for their first victory of the season.
Real Sociedad v Celta de Vigo
On Saturday, Real Sociedad will attempt to rebound from their slow start at home to promoted Celta de Vigo, who were unlucky in defeat at home to Malaga last weekend. Philippe Montanier’s men were outclassed last weekend by Copa Del Rey winners but he has signed well this summer as Carlos Vela made his loan move from Arsenal permanent, while Gonzalo Castro and Jose Angel joined from Real Mallorca and Roma respectively. Celta Vigo returned to Spain’s top flight last weekend after a absense of five years and this week signed Danish international Michael Krohn-Dehli from Brøndby. Could prove to be a diificult season for Celta Vigo and they looks unlikely to get any thing at the Basque county.
Espanyol v Real Zaragoza
Both Espanyol and Zaragoza were beaten on the first day of the season last week and both will be looking to bounce back. Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino will be happy his summer signings this summer especially the signing of Simão Sabrosa from Besiktas. Zaragoza will have to improve on their away form from last season where they suffered ten defeats and could suffer their first of this season on Saturday in Barcelona.
Real Betis v Rayo Vallecano
Real Betis stole the spotlight last weekend when they beat Athletic Bilbao 5-3 at San Mames with striker Jorge Molina getting a brace. However, Betis were beaten convincingly twice by Rayo last season who also got off to a winning start as Roberto Trashorras wonderful stoppage time free-kick handed them a 1-0 win over Granada on Monday night. New Rayo Vallecano signing Alejandro Dominguez is expected to make his debut but unlike last season, Betis could prove to be a surprise package in this season’s La Liga.
Malaga v Mallorca
With the financial troubles at Malaga, the start of the La Liga season has been a blessing for Manuel Pellegrini after 16 year-old Fabrice Olinga got them the winner at Celta Vigo while on Wednesday night, Malaga defeated Panathinaikos 2-0 in the first leg of the play-off round to the Champions League. Mallorca won 2-1 on Monday night at home to Espanyol but it’s their away form that they have struggled with in the past and Malaga’s good recent form makes them favorites for the three points on Saturday night.
In the other remaining La Liga games, new Granada boss Juan Antonio Anquela will be hoping to bounce back from his opening defeat to Real Vallecano last week with victory against Sevilla. After Valencia’s 1-1 draw away to Real Madrid, they begin their home campaign against Segunda Division champions Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. On Monday night, Valladolid face Levante at Estadio Nuevo José Zorrilla while it’s a repeat of the Europa League final when Atletico Madrid face Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderón.