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La Liga Week One Preview


After a long summer's wait, the elegance of the Spanish game is upon us again. 

Champions visit the Basque Country to face Bilbao for the third time in a week, an Andalusian Derby at Rosaleda plus a tricky trip to Vallecas for Los Che and new boys Gijon and Las Palmas face Madrid's big two in the opening weekend.

Here, we preview it all, featuring interactions where you can voice your opinion. 

Malaga vs. Sevilla
Friday 21 August 2015, 7:30pm BST

Week 1 gets underway on the Andalusian Coast as a Malaga side host another new-look and new-built Sevilla side in what promises to be another superb Andalusian Derby at Rosaleda.

Malaga this summer have not only frustrated me but they've also angered many of their own supporters and there's been real discontent from supporters towards the club and in particular the owner of the club who is none other than Abdullah Al-Thani.

Mr Al-Thani took over the club five years now and in his first two years at the club it was just superb because not only did we have incredibly good signings but Malaga were a real force again in La Liga and to put the icing on the cake we saw them compete in the Champions League which was fantastic on its own but they eventually reached the quarter-finals before being narrowly and unfairly knocked out by German side Borussia Dortmund who were an incredibly good side.

Mr Al-Thani's tenure since has been a pretty poor one from the failure to sell Rosaleda and delays in work to improve the surrounding area to a one year ban from European Football in 2012 due to unpaid bills as finances at the club hit a downward spiral.

This isn't Malaga of 2010, this is Malaga of 2015 and it's not one that's healthy and it's one that makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable, this club remains in debt and Al-Thani produced us all hope last summer when he said he would sell the club but this summer he's really angered me and many Malaga supporters by ruling out the sale of the club and in his words 'Continue our project'.

I'd like to ask Mr Al-Thani what this 'Project' is all about now because yes the side were consistent at times last season and their away form in the second half of the season was dreadful but boy did the future look bright on the pitch with a young talented side that included some extremely talented players and Malaga looked once again to be on the up and with a very exciting young squad.

This summer Mr Al-Thani has on his own destroyed last season's young talented side by stripping it of its best talents and some of these were in the club's season ticket promotion campaign for this season!

Juanmi, Castillejo and Samuel Garcia have all departed to the club with the latter heading to the Yellow Submarine and Juanmi heading off to English side Southampton and all three transfers earned the club no more than 25-30 million Euros and for that price your 'Project' as you call it Mr Al-Thani has been destroyed by you.

At the time of writing no other young talents have been sold but another one being sold could be Midfielder Sergi Darder who has been linked with clubs all summer and came close to joining French side Lyon a week ago so don't rule out any more young talents leaving the club.
Image: Reuters
Malaga's signings so far have been decent enough with three permanent deals for former Celta Vigo striker Charles, Portuguese Midfield man Fabio Espinho and the former NAC Breda winger Adnane Tighadouini who netted 15 times last season in 42 appearances for the Dutch side and is just 22 years of age.

The three loan deals have been Raul Albentosa who has looked very impressive in pre-season and is an excellent defender who did superbly well for Eibar who looked lost when he departed for English club Derby in January but his move there hasn't worked so far, Juan Carlos played 21 games for Granada last season as a winger and the third loan signing is a guy who really impresses me and that is Croatian striker Duje Cop.

Duje Cop is Malaga's best signing this summer and I'm backing him to be a real hit and his three years at Dinamo Zagreb where he scored 43 goals in 67 games for the club plus his short time at Italian side Cagliari on loan last season where he got 4 goals in 16 games in a new league show he can adapt to a new league and still find the net.

I've watched Malaga in pre-season more than once and this guy for someone of 6ft is extremely impressive and if the delivery into the box is good enough this season then there's no reason why he can't become the club's top scorer this season, his leap is excellent to get above a defender as is his heading ability and Cop can really be a hit at Malaga this season I'm very confident, keep an eye on this guy!

Overall Malaga have signed six and sold three so far this summer so have added to their squad but for me they've sold their best three players and even though Amrabat has stayed at the club who was a hugely important player for them last season I do see them overall a weaker side than last season and the sooner El-Thani decides to sell up the future won't look bright.

As for Sevilla last season was fantastic for them with a record points total in La Liga topped off with qualifying for the UEFA Champions League thanks to yet another UEFA Europa League trophy being won by the club continuing their love affair with the competition.
Dnipro vs. Sevilla: Score, Report and Reaction from 2015 Europa League Final
Image: Getty Images
This summer despite last season's success Sevilla and their director of football Monchi have been at it again with another re-build and their signings yet again have impressed me immensely and Monchi has truly pulled off another excellent recruitment drive.

Despite three key players including Aleix Vidal, M'Bia and star man Carlos Bacca Sevilla have kept the majority of last season's squad together including the majority of its key players and signed eight new players.

The nine signings include right back Mariano Ferreira from Bordeaux, left-back Sergio Escudero from Getafe, experienced ex Valencia centre-back Adil Rami aswell as Ciro Immobile, Konoplyanka, Steven N'Zonzi, Gael Kakuta and ex Celta Vigo midfielder Michael Krohn-Delhi.

You can ask why Sevilla sell players including Carlos Bacca who was their star man last season but selling players for more than what they bought them for and re-building the side works for them and I am full of respect and praise for Monchi and his work.

I feel Sevilla are a much stronger side than last season and now also have two players for every position and Bacca's goals have to be replaced but with the players Monchi has brought in in the attacking areas will contribute and even though Immobile under-achieved at Dortmund his movement impresses me and after watching him in pre-season for Sevilla I feel he has everything needed to replace Bacca and his goals but he just needs to time his runs and avoid being ruled offside!

In Kevin Gameiro they have an excellent poacher and off the bench just like last season and sometimes starting games as cover like he did last season he can get the goals for side this season so Bacca's loss doesn't worry me a great deal.

Sevilla by getting Immobile on a loan deal enables them to have the funds from the sale of Bacca still available to them and continue to chase a number '9 and continue to hunt Juventus and Spanish striker Fernando Llorente.

Malaga finished 9th last season and if they can finish in the top 7 it's been a truly fantastic season and an over-achievement but 42 goals scored last season just is not enough but five defeats from 19 home games for a side like Malaga is impressive.

As for Sevilla they had the third best attack in La Liga last season but what concerned me was their defence away from home because they always gave their opposition a chance and struggled to keep a clean sheet on their travels and 32 goals conceded on their travels last season show it, it's poor for a top seven side let alone a side that finished fifth!

Sevilla won this Derby twice last season including the meeting at Rosaleda on the final day of last season and have lost just three of the last Andalusian Derbies against Malaga and have won three of their last six Derbies at Rosaleda drawing one and losing two and five of the last six Andalusian Derbies between these two have seen both sides find the net so this one should be an exciting watch.
Image: SportsNet.ca
Espanyol vs. Getafe
Saturday 22 August 2015, 5:30pm BST

Espanyol head into the new La Liga 2015/16 season after a summer of upheaval at the club which has seen them lose their goalkeeper aswell as their formidable striking partnership of Stuani and Garcia and could still lose centre-back Hector Moreno and now face a tricky opener at home against a new-look and much improved Getafe side.

Espanyol have also lost winger Lucas Vazquez to Real Madrid who was on loan at the club last season and are targeting 19 year-old Spanish winger Marco Asensio of Real Madrid who is an exciting talent and shined in Greece this summer as he was part of the Spain under 19's squad which won the European Championships and this guy is going to reach the very top and he'd be an excellent replacement for Vazquez on a season long loan.

Espanyol have brought in five new signings so far and those include 22 year-old Centre-back Enzo Roco on loan who impressed on loan at relegated Elche last season, goalkeeper Francesco Bardi on loan from Italian side Inter Milan, 21 year old winger Burgui from Real Madrid on loan, Paraguayan winger Hernan Perez from Villarreal on a permanent deal and the permanent signing of Catalan born striker Gerard Moreno from Villarreal.

It's been a poor summer from Espanyol and it's not just the fact they've lost their goalkeeper but the fact they've lost Stuani and Garcia who as a strike partnership last season produced 26 goals in total for the club as a pair and that's a massive amount of goals to try and replace.

Roco is a brilliant signing and like many Elche players who have had to leave the club this season deserves to play in La Liga because he was part of a side who were excellent last season and he's an excellent solid composed centre-back.

Burgui, Perez and goalkeeper Bardi show much promise but Espanyol need much more in the attacking areas because although I like Moreno I just don't see him getting double figures, I really hope I am wrong and that he proves me wrong but I just can't see it.

One good thing happened in the striking areas this summer for the club though and that's Felipe Caicedo who turned down moves to stay at the club and his nine goals last season show that with more starts he can reach 15 goals this season but Espanyol need another striker for me that is more prolific than Moreno to take the strain off Caicedo who is the guy Espanyol will rely on most for goals this season.

At the moment I would have to say Espanyol are a little weaker than last season and if Hector Moreno does end up leaving the club then they'll need to sign another centre-back leaving them with a brand new centre-back pairing completely and another key player from last season's squad departing.

Espanyol are always good at home and last season they were brilliant with the 10th best home record in La Liga but just 23 goals scored has to improved on this season because if they can turn even two of last season's six draws at home into victories they'll have already taken a big step of improvement in that respect.

Away from home they must improve because five wins and ten defeats from 19 away games is just poor and coach Sergio Gonzalez must look to improve that if they're to have any chance of finishing higher than they 10th place they finished last season, the club will also hope for another good run in the Copa Del Rey too as last season saw them narrowly miss out on the final as Bilbao saw them off over two legs in the semi-finals.

Getafe are under new management yet again after the club decided that Pablo Franco didn't deserve the job on a full-time basis and as I mentioned last season that despite Franco steering the club to survival and doing well with the team in the process the poor end of season form from the side would cost him the job on a full time basis and I've been proved right and I feel sorry for the bloke.

Fran Escriba did wonders at Elche last season to keep them up (on points) and deserves another chance in La Liga and a three year deal at Getafe is just the reward although he had to wait before becoming coach as Getafe faced relegation for unpaid debts but fortunately the plucky Madrid based club paid the debts off two days before the deadline and survived relegation.

Escriba has wasted no time in putting his stamp on this Getafe side promising a competitive side that plays attacking, attractive, exciting football to get the fans off their feet and with this Getafe side Escriba can take them onto the next level and make sure they spend less time in the relegation battle than they did last season.

Getafe have made nine signings so far and they include six loan signings and three permanent signings and I'll start with the six loan signings which present Getafe's best signings this summer in my opinion.

21 year-old midfielder Alvaro Medran joins from city rivals Real Madrid, highly rated and talented Ghanaian attacking midfielder Bernard Mensah joins from the club's other city rivals Atleti, left-winger Victor Rodrigues who impressed at Elche last season and joins on loan from the relegated club, 21 year-old attacking midfielder Moi Gomez joins from Villarreal, Santiago Vergini a 27 year-old centre-back joins from English side Sunderland and young centre-back Emiliano Velazquez returns on loan after impressing on loan last season at the club and joins from city rivals Atleti.

Getafe's three permanent signings are goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri from Greek side Olympiakos, centre-back Cala who joins from Granada and the excellent right-back Damian Suarez who joins from Elche.

Escriba will still look to add to the squad whilst the transfer window is open and only has two strikers in the senior squad which include top scorer last season Alvaro Vazquez who will be key to the club's success infront of goal this season and it's no surprise that when he was ruled out for the last month of the season through injury the club's form dipped and they looked frail infront of goal and looked unlikely to score everytime they went forward.

18 year-old Argentine forward Emiliano Buendia has impressed in pre-season and was in the B side last season so it's unclear how much time he will get in the senior side this season but look out for him when he does because after impressing last season in the B side he deserves a chance and his work in pre-season will have done him no harm and the club's friendly away at second division English side MK Dons as part of the club's UK tour show what he can do as he produced two stunning goals to punish the Southern English based outfit.

Overall Getafe are a much stronger side than last season and now have the best coach they've had since Flores who is now at English first division side Watford, Getafe finished 15th last season just two points above the relegation zone.

What must improve this season is the club's away form which alone left the club on the brink of the relegation zone last season and when you win just four of your 19 away games and lose 13 of them it'll put severe pressure on your home record.

Getafe's home record last season was okay but 6 wins and 5 draws must be improved on this season because the Coliseum is a tough place to visit and Getafe must make sure it is again this season and make sure they do it by being more consistent and solid at home than they were last season.

Getafe conceded 42 goals on their travels last season which would have put them in the relegation zone with Rayo and Granada and they must tighten up on their travels and their home scoring record was poor last season too with just 16 goals being scored at the Coliseum and considering the club's again failed to address last season's ticket pricing problem I want to see more goals scored by Getafe at the Coliseum last season, I really do.

If you're expecting goals here then don't, the last eight meetings in La Liga between these two sides haven't seen more than three goals being scored in any of them and the highest scoring meeting in La Liga between these two came last season in the Spanish Capital as Espanyol suffered a 2-1 away defeat on a Friday night.

If Getafe win this one then they've probably won 2-0, their last three victories in the Catalan Capital against Espanyol have all been 2-0 victories and ahead of next week's opening home game against Granada Escriba would love an opening weekend victory here.

Deportivo vs. Real Sociedad
Saturday 22 August 2015, 5:30pm BST

Deportivo host La Real in their opening game of the 2015/16 season at Riazor and both sides know that this season must be an improvement on last season because if it's not then Moyes and Victor Sanchez will be out of a job.

Deportivo last season frustrated me and managed to do it on a regular basis because not only did they struggle to create enough chances to win games, they didn't score enough goals nor did they take enough of their chances in games where they did manage to create chances to win the game and they defended poorly, it was all a recipe for disaster.

Somehow Deportivo survived and even managed to draw their final game of the season 2-2 away in the Catalan Capital at Camp Nou against the newly crowned Champions Barca but they got out of jail big time and boy did they know it.

It was a great moment at the final whistle to see the club's coach and coaching staff race onto the pitch to celebrate with the players and the travelling support from the Galician city of Coruna celebrating in the the highest sector of the stadium was a sight to behold, their walk up Les Corts after the game would have been one of just pure delight knowing that they'd finally managed to stay up.

Deportivo have been a yo-yo club in recent years coming up and then going straight back down but survival last season puts them on a ladder to try and rid themselves of that tag now and survival this season can give them further stability.

Finances aren't great off the pitch and Deportivo probably won't get back to the heights of the early millenium where they were in the latter stages of the Champions League and at the higher spectrum of La Liga but they are still a big club in Spain and fully belong in La Liga.

I speak my mind and give my opinion so when I say Deportivo deserved to go down last season I'm not just saying that I actually mean it because when you can't defend and you can't score enough goals and draw your winnable games (some of them at home!) 0-0 against Espanyol for example after dominating it, what do you honestly expect, survival? I don't think so.
Image: Sport.es
Full credit to Deportivo though they pulled it off but this season really must be much much better because they may not get so lucky this season and Victor Sanchez won't want to see the club head into another long disastrous and turbulent season.

If I walked into Deportivo at the end of last season and gave them my opinions on the side and told them exactly where to strengthen and how to go about it and to add experience instead of trying to do things on the cheap it's safe to say they've proved this summer that they'd have listened and done exactly what I said.

They've had a sensational summer in the transfer market because not only have they strengthened their defence and midfield and the flanks they've added proven, experienced and quality La Liga level players and there's simply no excuses for Victor Sanchez now.

I do feel they still lack one final piece of the jigsaw though and that's a striker because Riera's four goals in 18 games last season is nowhere near good enough and even though they'll be much more solid defensively this season they still will rely on their midfield and the wingers especially contributing with goals because I just do not see Riera being the guy up top to score enough goals.

Deportivo have so far made ten signings include the permanent signing of winger Lucas Perez for around 1.5 million Euros after he impressed on loan last season and scoring more goals than Riera did with six goals in 21 appearances.

The other nine signings include former Sevilla defensive pairing Fernando Navarro who can also operate at left back and Alejandro Arribas, former Villarreal experienced midfielder Cani who is a fantastic signing for the club.

Pedro Mosquera and Faycal Fajr who both had excellent seasons last season for Elche in midfield, former Liverpool winger Luis Alberto who has impressed in pre-season and young and exciting Valencia winger Federico Cartabia on loan who was also on loan at Cordoba last season and shined in a team that were simply awful and deservedly went down in the end finishing bottom of La Liga.

Fabricio is a very under-rated keeper and one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga in my opinion and his saves and performances last season earned Deportivo at least five points on his own and he now has a much better back four infront of him which is important.

Overall I believe Deportivo are much much stronger all round than they were last season and now have a squad full of players with not just a huge amount of La Liga experience but a squad full of players who are good good players at this level and whether the striker comes or not Victor Sanchez has no excuses this season, simply no excuses.

35 goals scored last season must be improved on and considering they scored 22 of them at home but conceded a whopping 30 goals at home which was one of the worst defensive records for a home side in the whole of La Liga last season and the fact they could only win five games at home last season and seven games in all show improvements have to be made because if not Deportivo may not be so lucky come May 2016.

La Real enter into the 2015/16 season under pressure from fans after what was a poor season for the club last season and La Real simply must be challenging for the top seven this season and their coach David Moyes knows it.

The poor season last season shouldn't be associated with Moyes in my opinion because last season was more down to former coach Jagoba Arrasate than it was Moyes but Moyes must deliver this season and there's real pressure on him.

The club's hierachy have said this summer that if Moyes achieves a top seven finish the target will be achieved and we will offer him a new contract, if Moyes fails to deliver a top seven finish then when his contract expires in May 2016 he will be out of La Real, it's as simple as that.

There's still time left in the transfer market but so far I think Moyes has been backed well and made some very good signings so far and he has made four of them so far with one of them being highly talented 18 year-old Winger/Striker David Concha who was purchased from Racing Santander and Moyes has yet to decide whether to send him out on loan or keep him in an around the senior side/B side so you could see him feature from time to time this season, keep an eye on this talent though throughout this season though.

Diego Reyes is a very good signing on loan from Portuguese side Porto at just 22 years of age the Mexican has already been capped for his national side at senior level 27 times and is a centre-back who will boost La Real further defensively with his excellent ability with the ball and his strength in the air defensively.

The other two signings so far excite me immensely and Bruma is the first of those, the 20 year-old winger is on loan from Turkish side Galatasaray and will give La Real's attack the extra pace it lacked last season and the extra pace Moyes has always desired it to have, he is a very aggressive, direct, pacey winger and will make La Real a real threat on the counter attack this season.

The other one of the two signings is the best signing so far for me and that's former Elche striker Jonathas who shined at the relegated club last season scoring 14 goals and adding 7 assists in 34 appearances for the club last season.

Jonathas is a striker I just love to watch and he's that kind of a striker who against two defenders on his own can bully them, beat them and beat the goalkeeper too, he is extremely clinical and his ability to hold off defenders with his strength aswell as his strength in the air when it comes to heading the ball make him a very under-rated striker in my opinion and this signing also shows that David Moyes has learnt things from his time in La Liga so far by signing one of it's stars from last season.

Overall I feel La Real now have the squad to finish in the top seven if not higher and there's simply no excuses for Moyes if he fails to deliver a top seven finish this season because not only are they solid defensively under him as they proved last season but they should also be utterly utterly devastating at times on the counter-attack this season.

With a front three of Vela (when he gets fit after a summer of playing Copa America), Bruma and Jonathas there's the front three to give any defence in La Liga trouble and in Jonathas La Real now have a striker who can get them goals on a regular basis and Agirretxe is good back-up up top aswell.

What La Real must improve on this season though is their poor away record from last season which saw them pick up just two wins on their travels all season, draw eight and score just fifteen goals whilst conceding 30 and that has to improve alot if they're to be in the race for a top seven place this season.

This fixture in recent seasons has been low scoring and I don't think you can expect a total goalfest here but what this represents is a winnable game for both sides because Depor certainly have enough to beat La Real and La Real certainly have enough to beat Depor but going to Riazor and getting a result especially on the opening weekend of the season is tough and Moyes won't want La Real to suffer on the opening weekend like they did last season when they lost 1-0 away to newly promoted Eibar in a Basque Derby.

Atletico Madrid vs. Las Palmas
Saturday 22 August, 7:30pm BST

La Liga returns to the Spanish Capital on Saturday night as Simeone's new look Atleti host new boys Las Palmas at the Calderon.

Atleti's summer has been simply incredible in the transfer market and the signings have been truly brilliant and they have had the best transfer market out of all 20 La Liga clubs so far and that'll remain the same come September when it closes.

Turan, Mandzukic, Alderweireld, Miranda and Mario Suarez have been the key departures from the Calderon this season and are all the right decisions in my opinion and I'll tell you why.

Turan is nearing his 30's and last season in the Champions League game at the Bernabeu in a crucial knockout game against Atleti's city rivals Real Madrid he got himself sent off for doing something stupid, not only has he shown poor discipline in recent seasons and become a hothead but if Atleti didn't sell this summer they wouldn't have got a good market value and to sell him for £34 million Euros for him is remarkable business.

Mandzukic just did not cut it upfront and off the field he was lazy in his training and effort and when you're like that you've got no chance of Simeone wanting to keep you and for me it proves why German side Bayern Munich were so quick to get rid of him.

Alderweireld didn't really feature last season as was out on loan and Miranda just isn't needed anymore at centre-back because there's enough cover there and with Gimenez coming through it was the right decision to sell Miranda, Mario Suarez is the right decision also to help bring down the age of the midfield and Gabi and Tiago are better options in midfield than Mario Suarez too.

The signings this summer have included striker Luciano Vietto from Villarreal which was the most obvious signing this summer (I already knew it was going to happen back in March) , winger Yannick Carrasco, Stefan Savic, former Porto striker Jackson Martinez and the return of left-back Filipe Luis who won the title with Atleti in 2014.

Young attacking midfielder Oliver Torres at just 20 years of age spent last season on loan at Porto and the season before that spent a season at Villarreal but he's really impressed in pre-season and this season he's one to keep an out as this could be the season he breaks through, this guy is going to be a star! Also look out for Angel Correa the young Argentine striker again just 20 years of age who reminds me very much of Carlos Tevez and if Simeone doesn't send him out on loan Correa can make a real impact this season.

Atleti's business has been superb and Simeone still chases the final piece of the jigsaw that is a central midfielder and knowing Simeone he'll probably complete the jigsaw before the transfer market closes too.

Atleti will be the big surprise this season because we're going to see a different Atleti in my opinion and Simeone over the summer even stated this by saying he's going to open up Atleti a bit more and even though you'll still see the Atleti as defensively sound as ever and hard-working which is the Simeone way you'll see them score more goals and the days of their games regularly being won with less than three goals in them will gradually disappear.

Griezmann scored 22 goals in La Liga last season and when you add Vietto's 12 to that and Martinez's tally at Porto and take into account the talent and promise of young Correa plus how more sharp and much fitter Torres has looked in pre-season you've got the attack to hurt any team in La Liga and you've also got goals, goals, goals.

I honestly do not see Simeone ever managing in England as many English football fans will try and kid themselves and make themselves believe it will happen when it actually won't, this guy has signed until 2020 and has proven with his signings this summer being mainly young players that he plans to be at Atleti for at least another three years and is now looking to build an exciting, young, talented and attacking side and his desire of managing the Argentina national side could be his next destination when he leaves Atleti.

Vietto is just 21 years of age and for me he not only reminds me of David Villa immensely but his finishing for a guy of his age is just incredible and I'm prepared to put this out there and say that he will become a better player than Sergio Aguero. Keep your eye firmly on this guy and trust what I say.

For now though I'm fascinated as to what he goes with this season in his eleven whether he goes with Griezmann up top next to Vietto or plays Martinez upfront with Vietto and Griezmann on the flanks or even plays Griezmann and Martinez upfront and plays Vietto on the flanks, there's so many combinations attacking wise to this Atleti side that Simeone can leave opposing sides and opposing coaches guessing and guessing as to what he'll go with and how he'll set up his eleven 'warriors' against them.

At the moment I'd probably go with this for my Atleti eleven and set it up like this:

  • Oblak
  • Juanfran
  • Godin
  • Savic
  • Luis
  • Koke
  • Tiago
  • Gabi
  • Griezmann
  • Vietto
  • Martinez

Do you agree with this? Send in yours with the hashtag #TheSportMatrix to @AdamLaLiga and @TheSportMatrix!

But I do expect Simeone to put Carrasco in place of Griezmann on the flanks with Griezmann and Vietto the front two with Martinez on the bench but listen his opposing coaches don't know so if I get it almost right I'll be estatic!

Atleti had the fourth best home record in La Liga last season with 14 wins, three draws and just two defeats and their attacking record at home with 42 goals scored was the joint third best of any La Liga side at home with Valencia and their defensive record at home with just 11 goals conceded was the joint second best of any La Liga side at home with Barcelona and overall last season Atleti had the second best defensive record and the fifth best attack.

After thirteen years away from Spanish football's top flight UD Las Palmas are back and the last two seasons have given me some great memories, given us drama, heartache and outright jubilation as the Islanders finally return to the top flight.

Their attempt in 2014 ended in heartache as Cordoba scored an away goal in the second leg of the play-off final on the Island and it happened as Las Palmas fans were by the side of the pitch waiting to run and celebrate promotion, instead the game ended with both sets of players running for the tunnel and the cover of the dressing rooms as some Las Palmas fans looked to attack Cordoba players and attack the riot police who entered the field.

Their attempt just two months ago gave us yet more drama (really it did) as they yet again entered into the play-offs and the semi-finals came around and after a 1-1 draw away to Valladolid they managed to miss a penalty at home and go through after a 0-0 draw on away goals.

The play-off final came around and heartache reached Las Palmas and this time much earlier because after taking the lead away to Zaragoza in the first leg their collapse defensively came and they flew back to Gran Canaria 3-1 down and needing to win 2-0 in the second leg at home to gain promotion.

They knew that keeping a clean sheet would be a tough task on its own and if they conceded they'd need three to force extra-time and four to gain promotion without the need for extra-time and the Estadio Gran Canaria on a Sunday night in June was full and bouncing but inside the supporters and players were full of nerves coupled with the fear of more heartache yet again.

In the 33rd minute Las Palmas struck through Mesa had the ball to his feet and just thumped the ball towards goal and it reached the top right hand corner and the whole stadium erupted and sensed that maybe just maybe this was their time and twelve minutes later the whistle went and Las Palmas were 45 minutes away from more heartache for another year.

Las Palmas were superb in the second-half it was utter domination and they never gave up continuing to force Zaragoza deeper and deeper and kept penning them back but Zaragoza to their credit somehow managed to clear their lines and it looked as if more heartache was heading Las Palmas's way yet again as five minutes remained on the clock, Zaragoza were on the brink of La Liga, they could see it.

Las Palmas managed to win a free-kick and the best thing to do with five minutes left was get it into the box and hope for a lucky break and Bounou in the Zaragoza goal came out to punch the ball clear but a man in yellow headed the ball before he could punch it away and the ball reached the ground inside the penalty area.

Artiles then reacted with a bicycle kick to try and get that second goal and as it rolled across the face of goal it was making its way wide but fortunately star man Sergio Araujo was at the back post to poke home whilst two Zaragoza defenders collapsed on the line in utter disbelief and heartbreak.

Araujo ran away to celebrate, hoardings were kicked down in jubilation and five minutes later the referee blew the whistle and that was it after thirteen years and the heartache of 2014 Las Palmas were back, back in La Liga!

Sergio Araujo was the top scorer for the club last season with 23 goals and at just 23 years of age he is a young Argentine with a bright bright future and if you want him you'll have to pay his buyout clause which is 60 million Euros.

Jonathan Viera and Sergio Araujo were the attacking duo that in the end saw Las Palmas to promotion and that attacking duo will be critical to their survival this season and how successful it is could be the difference between survival and relegation.

Recruitment has been disappointing, frustrating, poor and it's also felt quite rushed for me and like it's been done with panic, yes the signings of Viera and Araujo were important because they were both on loan and deserved their deals being made permanent this season after such an impressive debut season last season for them both.

Signings of striker Ortuno from Granada on loan where he played just five games last season plus the likes of Pedro Bigas from Mallorca, Javi Varas from Valladolid just aren't good enough in my opinion.

Willian Jose signed from Zaragoza who scored 10 goals last season for the club is a decent enough one in terms of cover up top but the signing of Alcaraz from English side Everton on a free-transfer is a poor signing my opinion, this is a guy who struggles with fitness and is all round slow and maybe if he can get his fitness right he can prove me wrong but at 33 years of age I'm sceptical to say the least.

Las Palmas remain the only club in Spanish football to ever earn back to back promotions to La Liga which is what they achieved back in 1983, the last time a side from the Canary Islands were in La Liga was in the 2009-10 season and they ended up going straight back down and that side was Tenerife who finished second bottom with 36 points and relegated by a point and Las Palmas won't want to repeat Tenerife's La Liga fortunes.

Las Palmas will have 20,000 season ticket holders this season which is an incredible amount for a side based on an Island and the Estadio Gran Canaria is likely to be full for at least 90% of home games this season and will have a reduced capacity of 25,000 compared to 32,500 for the moment due to development work going on at the stadium which includes putting in temporary stands behind the goals to enable supporters to be closer to the pitch.

I love the Canary Islands and the fact that a side from the Islands are in La Liga once again really excites me and to be honest I still can't believe Las Palmas are back in La Liga after all the heartache but boy I'm glad they are and I'm going to enjoy watching them every step of the way, I'm going to get right behind the side and the Island because if they go down I'll be completely distraught.

Spanish midfielder David Silva currently playing for English side Manchester City showed how much it means to be an Islander and to be born in Gran Canaria this summer when he announced that he will retire and end is career at UD Las Palmas which is just superb.

Their recruitment has been poor and their away record last season was poor with just seven successes on their travels but their attacking record in general was superb and was the joint best in the league with 73 goals scored the same as Champions Betis.

Las Palmas must be consistent this season though because they were top last Christmas and had to go through to the play-offs instead of being automatically promoted and also they must improve defensively because their defending away to Zaragoza in the first leg of the play-off final last season and their all round play last season showed defensive weakness and the 47 goals they conceded last season proved that.

This season for all three newly promoted clubs it's going to be a battle every single game and fine margins will decide things and if Las Palmas defend anything like they did last season I'll be seriously worried for them but with an whole Island behind them they can survive and they can achieve the dream of survival in their first season back in La Liga after thirteen years out of it.

They're back!

Las Palmas have never played Atleti in a league fixture and have never visited the Vicente Calderon either, their only meeting against Atleti came back in 2005 in a Copa Del Rey tie where Atleti won 1-0 in Gran Canaria, it's a dream game for Las Palmas but games against the likes of Eibar, Gijon, Levante, Granada and so on will decide their future not Atleti away so the fact they are facing three of last season's top five shouldn't be given too much thought.

Rayo Vallecano vs. Valencia
Saturday 22 August, 9:30pm BST

Rayo host Los Che after another summer in which their top scorer leaves the club and another overhaul of the squad like every summer is needed whilst Los Che have had a strange summer and a shake up behind the scenes.

Of the starting eleven that played against Valencia at Vallecas last season in one of the club's remaining home games of the season seven remain with four leaving the club and two of those being star players from last season in Gael Kakuta who is now at Sevilla and top scorer Alberto Bueno who is now at Portuguese side Porto.

Rayo's seven signings so far include goalkeeper Juan Carlos who was in goal for relegated Cordoba last season, 33 year-old experienced centre-back Jose Dorado from Villarreal, German winger Patrick Ebert from Russian side Spartak Moscow plus former Deportivo attacking midfielder Luis Farina who joins the club on loan from Portuguese side Benfica.

The other three signings see three more loan deals on top of the Luis Farina one with young Real Madrid centre-back Diego Llorente heading on a season long loan from the club's biggest Madrid rival, striker Bebe from Benfica who has played for English side Manchester United in recent years and was on loan at relegated Cordoba last season and Chinese winger Zhang Chengdong from Beijing Guoan and becomes the first ever Chinese player to play in La Liga.

The signing of Zhang Chengdong has produced big big trouble at the club and a rift between coach Paco Jemez and the club's sporting director Felipe Minambres and it creates something very uncomfortable around the club.

It's great to see a Chinese player finally play in La Liga don't get me wrong but I'm with Paco on this one because although Zhang could turn out to be a brilliant player for the club I don't agree with the club signing a player because of its Chinese sponsor forcing them to do so, it's unfair on the player himself and the coach of that club and it's bang out of order.

Paco Jemez is a fantastic coach and what he did at Rayo last season was simply incredible steering them to an 11th placed finish and they finished just six points off the final Europa League spot and if it wasn't for a little slip in form in January then they could well be in the Europa League right now.

He has a massive future in the game and deserves so much more credit than he is getting for me because to keep Rayo up is an achievement in itself but to have them closer to the top ten than the bottom ten is another wonderful achievement on its own.

Paco Jemez is right though with his comments by saying it's the worst decision to be made since he's been at the club and that he feels like he's been slapped in the face and he couldn't be more spot on about it and for the sporting director to come out and say Paco knew about this signing for the last a few years ago is something I'm just not buying.

Full credit to Paco for the way he handled his response though by saying he just wanted to get on with things and that's the right thing to do because you just cannot let this drag on and I feel immensely sorry for the player here.

Zhang is not only playing in a new country and new league now but he's going to be at a club where his signing wasn't made by the coach and all he can do is work hard in training and prove himself to Paco that he deserves to be in the starting eleven and I hope he can achieve that because it'd be great to see a saga/mess like this end well rather than the people sit on the bench and rarely start.

Paco gives us plenty of drama off the pitch and he proved that last season and did so again in pre-season because when the team lost 5-0 away to Albacete in a pre-season friendly he really hit out in the media after it and didn't hold back.

He called the players a disgrace and an embarrassment and that they didn't deserve to wear the club shirt and said if it was up to him he'd sack the whole squad and start again and sack the coach aswell and considered exiting the club.

Rayo will still make further signings this season on top of the seven they've already made and Paco's comments after the Albacete game were clever because we're used to him blowing his top in the media from time to time but he's clever and he made it clear in the public domain to the club's hierarchy that new signings were needed and it was an urgent matter because the team weren't good enough for the top flight.

Nothing will change about Rayo this season they'll still play the same positive attacking style not worrying about what's behind them and at times the defending will be comical but they will remain exciting to neutrals and Paco will be refreshed and energised and his usual self in what I expect to be his final season at Vallecas.

Losing Kakuta is a huge blow because even though he is inconsistent when he is on it he's an excellent player and Rayo will have to hope their new signings on the flanks can offer them similar success but what concerns me most is the strikers.

Manucho, Bebe and Miku isn't enough and Manucho may get the odd goal from time to time but I don't have any confidence in any of those three getting enough goals this season and a striker remains on Paco's shopping list and rightly so.

Who that striker is we will find out in the coming days and weeks but at the moment the club remain to work hard on re-signing striker Michu which would be an unbelievably good signing for the club but wages could prove to kill any deal but whoever they sign they must make sure they can replace Bueno's 17 goals from last season.

Rayo's record away from home against the bottom half sides last season was superb and I want to see that again this season aswell as their excellent away record to remain the same too because it was the eighth best in La Liga last season and they were the sixth highest scorers in La Liga last season on their travels.

If Rayo finish higher than last season's 11th placed finish then it's another unbelievable season from Paco's men and if they can match last season's finish it'll still remain another great season from Paco's men but as long as they aren't involved in the relegation battle that's the real main aim this season.

Valencia's project continues and this game is sandwiched in-between their huge UEFA Champions League Play-Off tie with French side Monaco and over two-legs they simply must come out on top because failure would see their project derail.

Los Che haven't been in the Champions League for a years now and this is their chance to return to the competition and after working so hard last season to get these two games they can't let it go to waste by failing over two legs against a French side who I don't feel are all that.

Monaco qualified for the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League last season but as soon as they came across decent opposition they were knocked out and when you get drawn against an extremely weak European outfit in English side in Arsenal it's practically a bye into the next round.

Monaco have some good young players just like Los Che have and just like Los Che they are dangerous on the counter-attack but for me Monaco have serious deficiencies in the defensive areas of the pitch.

Owner Peter Lim who is friends with Jorge Mendes who by the way received his own Greek island as a wedding present from Cristiano this summer purchased the Real Madrid star's image rights for the next six years and not only does this signal Cristiano is making steps to leave Cristiano but it leaves Lim in two minds when Valencia the club he owns faces Real Madrid.

If Ronaldo scores a hat-trick against Valencia for Real Madrid this season and Valencia lose it leaves Lim in an awkward position and it would be great news for him enabling him to cheer as owner of the player's media rights but his club will have lost so he can't win perfection in terms of happiness regarding this but financially and personally it's excellent for Mr.Lim.

Jorge Mendes's involvement in the club's transfer dealings frustrates me but it also frustrates many of the club's fans and this summer it led to the departure of the now former president Amadeo Salvo and other key figures from the club's board.

Although the club have signed some exciting young players I am left underwhelmed by their transfer dealings so far because when you wait so long to return to the Champions League albeit the play-off stage you expect much better signings than the ones that have been made so far.

Negredo is a poor signing but was forced on the club as they had to sign him permanently due to the agreements of the deal they had with English club Manchester City, Cancelo has proved in pre-season he's not up to the job at right-back and proves why Barragan is comfortably number-one choice in that position.

Andres Gomes from Benfica still hasn't proven he has enough about him to hold the defence together and for me Javi Fuego is the number-one choice in that position and should start their on a regular basis again this season because he is the glue to hold things together.

Other signings include Rodrigo from Benfica who can operate as a winger or a striker and has a bright future and another one to look out for this season is Rodrigo De Paul who should make his breakthrough this season and really impress people, Danilo Barbosa a young holding midfielder shows promise but is likely to be back-up to Fuego this season along with Gomes as mentioned above.

The two signings that really excite me so far are Belgian winger Zakaria Bakkali and highly talented Spanish striker Santi Mina who was signed from Celta Vigo where he last season made history by becoming the youngster player to score four goals in a single game in La Liga.

Bakkali is just 19 years of age but he's shown in pre-season that he can damage opposing defences with his dribbling ability and pace but also his directness and his lack of fear and he loves to go right at an opposing defence and go for the throat of it.

Santi Mina is one of Spanish football's brightest talents and at 19 he's already in the record books of one Spanish club in Celta and it won't be long before he makes it a second with Valencia and believe me now when I say this, this kid is going to be one hell of a player and one day he'll lead the line for La Roja.

Diego Alves is the best goalkeeper in La Liga and he proved it last season but unfortunately for Los Che he won't be back in action until around November/December so a keeper had to be signed this summer to replace him until them and young Australian Goalkeeper Mat Ryan has impressed in pre-season and in training showing himself to be a good shotstopper but at 23 years of age it remains to be seen if he can handle the amount of pressure that'll be on him especially against Monaco in those two legs.

There's been no key departures from Los Che this summer so far but if Otamendi departs then quite frankly it'll be good riddance in my opinion and yes he may be a solid defender and was excellent last season where he was the best and most consistent defender in La Liga but the way he's conducted himself has been nothing short of a disgrace.

He was a nobody in the world of football when he joined Valencia and if it wasn't for Valencia he'd remain that nobody and you must always remember the club that made you and when you want to leave you do it professionally instead of forcing a move and acting like a child about it and he was rightly booed by Los Che supporters at the team's presentation last weekend and he deserved it.

If Otamendi departs the replacement is likely to be Zenit defender Ezequiel Garay who would be an excellent replacement for Otamendi, Garay is comfortable in possession, a solid defender and a very good ball playing defender and next to Mustafi he would form another solid centre-back pairing for Los Che and one I'd feel comfortable watching and be able to trust.

Gaya's relationship with striker Alcacer continues to grow and grow and Gaya is another exciting talent at just 20 years of age and will be a regular left-back for La Roja in the next few years because not only is his attacking down the flanks and delivery into the box fantastic but he is also a solid left-back who can defend and positionally is excellent for a guy who is just 20 years old.

The Gaya and Alcacer relationship should again this season bear fruit for the club in La Liga and it'll be very interesting to see how it fairs in Europe too and these two players really do deserve to play in the group stage of the Champions League and showcase their talents and abilities and I really hope they do it, it's just a shame they face Monaco in what is a Quarter-final tie on paper.

Los Che at the moment are in my opinion just slightly stronger than last season and if Otamendi does leave I'd still stick with that because Garay will be an excellent replacement and have signed some exciting young players this summer adding to the exciting young squad full of young talents they already have.

For me the lack of a proven goalscorer upfront is a worry and someone like Chicharito would have been perfect for the club but Santi Mina is a talent and can add goals to this side but without question the number one striker is Paco Alcacer and although he's only 21 he is not only the man capable to give Los Che 15-20 goals this season he is the man to lead the line for La Roja next summer in France.

Los Che must improve on last season's away record because despite having a better defensive record than Real Madrid on their travels seven wins and eight draws from 19 away games is not good enough, their home record must be kept the same as last season which was superb and only one defeat came at Mestalla and that was a stoppage time goal from Barcelona and cruel, very cruel indeed.

Only ten goals were conceded at Mestalla last season and that was the best defensive record from any home side in the whole of La Liga last season and even if Otamendi leaves there's no reason why Los Che can't achieve the number one defensive record at home in La Liga again this season.

Los Che haven't won at Vallecas in La Liga since 2013 where they recorded a 4-0 away success and whilst this game is sandwiched between two huge Champions League games it's also a difficult place to visit for sides in La Liga and Los Che's 1-1 draw here last season proves it, expect an exciting game with Rayo involved but if Los Che have to lose here to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League then so be it, so be it.

Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona
Sunday 23 August 2015, 5:30pm BST

It's Bilbao vs. Barcelona, it's still August and already it's round 3 as these sides meet for the third time this season after playing both legs of the Super Copa De Espana against each other just a week ago and this time it's at San Mames and presents a tricky opening fixture for the Champions.
Image: The Guardian
Bilbao wouldn't have wanted a difficult fixture to open with let alone the Champions and not just because they'll have faced Barca twice already in the Super Copa De Espana before this fixture but because they'll be in Slovakia just three days before this game to play the first leg of their UEFA Europa League play-off tie against Slovakian side Zilina which means landing back in the Basque Country just two days before the La Liga opener at San Mames against the Champions.

Bilbao have kept last season's squad and made a few additions to it so far with the signings of a new full back, and two new central midfielders which gives them more strength in depth ahead of another season with the Europa League putting extra strain on their squad.

Eraso and Elustondo are good signings in midfielder, Eraso impressed for Leganes in the previous two years he's been there and Elustondo is an experienced midfielder signed from Basque Rivals La Real and after nine years at the club he now plays in the red and white of Bilbao and he's a fantastic midfielder with a great deal of quality in La Liga and it's Bilbao's best signing this summer so far for me, he can also play at centre-back aswell as the holding midfielder role and next to San Jose Bilbao's defence will be protected much more this season.

Eneko Boveda is another signing Bilbao have made from Basque rivals and this time it's Eibar, Boveda had four years at Eibar and featured there last season and the previous season too playing a part in their historic promotion to La Liga and he'll provide excellent cover at right-back for Valverde's men.

Last season was a disappointment for Bilbao and they under-achieved and going out of the Europa League at the last 32 stage was pretty poor especially when they were knocked out by such poor opposition aswell.

In the second half of last season though we saw a more consistent Bilbao and the Bilbao we all know, they reached the final of the Copa Del Rey and finished seventh in the league which looked unlikely and nearly impossible in the first-half of the season.

Bilbao kept nine clean sheets from their twenty La Liga games in the second half of last season and only ever conceded more than one goal in a game in just six of those twenty and with the talented Laporte at the heart of that defence it's no surprise at all.

Going forward last season Bilbao lacked a little and the reliance of Aduriz was incredibly high and to be brutally honest it was an over-reliance on him to get the goals and at 35 years of age he is just incredible and his goals last season helped them achieve what they achieved because without him they'd have been in real trouble and lucky to finish in the top ten let alone the top seven.

Muniain's injury came at a bad time when the side were on a good run in the second half of the season and towards the end of it because he's so important for this side and his an extremely talented young winger and a key man for Valverde and for me he's one of the most under-rated wingers in La Liga and I can't wait to see him return in October.

Aduriz may be 35 but he can still do it as he proved last season but the reliance on him has to be reduced this season because others must contribute and in October when Muniain returns I'm confident it'll help further and so will Inaki Williams.

Inaki Williams is just 21 and for me he's going to reach the very top and he's a star in the making believe me, Bilbao have found a gem, an absolute gem in this kid and yes he's got lightning pace but it's about how you use it and he uses it tremendously well with his direct approach to attacking and to add to that he's got the strength to hold off defenders, bully them and beat them and against Real Madrid last season at San Mames he terrified them and they just had no answer to him.

Williams is superb at beating his man, his direct approach to attacking as I've said above helps and he gives defenders in La Liga an absolute nightmare and when Muniain returns in October and we see Muniain and Williams on the flanks and Aduriz up top you'll have an attacking trio to really excite and impress you, believe me and Williams and Muniain will add goals to this side.
Image: FCBarcelona.com
Bilbao have again only signed players who are Basque-Born (players who are born in the Basque Country) and I admire their policy I really do because yes it makes their ability to sign players and their ability to challenge the big boys in La Liga even harder but it's good to see a club stick to their guns and trust in something they believe in and it's working for them when you see a guy like Inaki Williams come through trust me.

Bilbao can't have a worser season than they did last season and that's exciting but the second half of last season showed me they are solid defensively and from what I've seen in pre-season with their pressing and organisation/structure of the defence and the whole eleven really has impressed me and Bilbao should have a much better season this time around and if they don't Valverde will be asked questions and rightly, rightly so.

Barca come into this one after a summer with early elections called after the crisis that began in January after the defeat in San Sebastian to La Real at Anoeta as Luis Enrique's constant rotation finally hit its turbulent end.

Laporta ran for president and we all expected him to win myself included and we thought he would win comfortably too but when news broke on the 18th of July as it neared midnight on a Saturday night in Catalonia that Bartomeu had won and not just won but he'd won with 54% of the vote going in his favour.

The Socios (Barca members/share-holders) had been fooled it became so so clear the treble and the sight of three trophies shined in their face brightly and Bartomeu had regained presidency of the club for another six years.

I don't agree with some Barca supporters attacking the Socios because they've followed the club all their life just like many Barca supporters and their money has gone into the club and they own shares in it so to say they don't care or to say they are clueless is quite harsh to be honest.

But let me offer my thoughts on what this means and how I feel, if you don't know by now I can't stand Bartomeu and the fact that Qatar Airways remains on the shirt as the sponsor sits uneasy with me and I feel sick when I see it branded on the beautiful and famous Barcelona jersey.

Not just because Barcelona are one of the biggest clubs in the world and the brand and image of the club is worldwide but for me it's to see a country with extremely poor human rights, a country where construction workers are dying on a weekly basis due to poor working conditions as they aim to build stadiums on time for the 2022 World Cup is just wrong and the fact it's being promoted on the front of this jersey makes me extremely angry.
Image: ESPN FC
All people see from the outside and even some of you reading this see a treble, you see three trophies and what's what the Socios saw when they turned up on polling day and dropped their vote into the box and without that treble I'm 99% certain Bartomeu wouldn't be president now and if unless he proves me and many Barca supporters wrong then he'll leave in 2021 with the club's soul and identity truly destroyed.

From having Qatar on the shirt and slowly destroying La Masia to sticking with a manager who doesn't get this side playing the football that is the true identity of the club which is the Cruyff way is the way his reign will be remembered, a complete sham from start to finish.

Barcelona for me will keep on dominating and will keep on winning trophies in Bartomeu's reign and some of you reading this from the outside may even praise the guy 'Wow what a reign! But just you remember that it's likely to have come at a price and that's the identity of the club, its soul and more importantly La Masia ripped out and destroyed slowly but surely.

Regular readers will know I don't like Luis Enrique and I made my feelings quite clear enough times last season and I stand by it, it's not the man to take this club forward and yes that may seem mad to you outsiders reading this but he's an arrogant man who barely speaks to his players and you can say it's about tactics all you want, you can say it until you're blue in the face but it's not all down to him this success and if you think it is then more fool you.

Praise these players not the coach because this is a coach who has the best front three in the world right now and for me the best front three to have ever played the game and it took him until the middle of January, JANUARY to realise he had to play them all together and stop rotating the squad every week, Class A Clown that's what Mr Enrique is.
InsideSpanishFootball.com
Messi doesn't like Bartomeu either and the fact and realisation that he'll be 34 years of age when Bartomeu leaves means we'll see a Messi reaching the end of his career and Bartomeu getting six years of Messi at his best because when Bartomeu leaves Messi won't be near the level he is right now in my opinion.

I still remember Berlin and the celebrations and I have fond memories of it and always will and I thank the players for those memories and what they did in Berlin but this coach and this president can keep on seeing this side win trophies all they want but Bartomeu in particular must prove me wrong by addressing La Masia because I don't believe he will and at the moment I'll resent him forever as he destroys La Masia slowly but surely.

The signings of Vidal and Turan are good signings in terms of back up but I fear that these signings could see Luis Enrique return back to his constant rotating of the side that saw Barca struggle so much in the first half of last season so keep an eye on this as soon as these players can play competitively for the club in January 2016 which will be the second half of the season of course.

Bilbao last season didn't score enough goals just 42 goals which was the same as Malaga and it's not good enough for a side in the top seven but 41 goals conceded is impressive and they had the sixth best defensive record in La Liga last season and won ten games of their nineteen home games at San Mames last season so this presents potential trouble for Barca and other visiting sides to San Mames this season.

Barca on the other hand had the second best attack last season and their defence as many of you know rarely conceded last season especially in the second half of this season in which they were in sensational form as they claimed another La Liga title and they had the best away record in La Liga last season with just two defeats, ten goals conceded and 45 points picked up from a possible 57 available.

Barca love playing Bilbao and have proved it in recent seasons beating the Basque side in ten of their last fourteen La Liga meetings drawing three and losing just once but don't enjoy trips to the Basque Country to face Bilbao and have won just two of their last six meetings including last season's 5-2 away success and have won just twice in Bilbao in La Liga in five years.

Sporting Gijon vs. Real Madrid
Sunday 23 August 2015, 7:30pm BST

New boys Sporting Gijon return to La Liga for the first time since 2012 when they were relegated after finishing second bottom with 37 points and went down with Villarreal and Racing Santander and now they return and open with a home game against Real Madrid.

I'm absolutely delighted Sporting Gijon are back in La Liga and it won't be long until many of you feel the same too because their supporters are absolutely brilliant and El Molinon is such a special ground with such a special atmosphere and it's noisy inside there let me tell you!

I watched Gijon last season against Racing Santander which was a Derby and when Gijon scored you knew about it believe me and it's one of the best atmospheres I've seen in Spanish Football believe me and they won that game in the end and you just felt it could be important come May.

I always felt that their last game of last season would see them miss out on automatic promotion especially when they headed into the match outside the automatic promotion places and Girona had a winnable game at home too, it all looked so bleak for the Asturians.

Then came an unbelievable story Gijon had not only gone to the Champions and already promoted Betis and won but they'd won in style and won 3-0 but there was no celebrations when the referee blew his whistle and it was just flat as everyone looked for news, the Gijon travelling support up in the gods also waited for news.

Girona's match had just been suspended for ten minutes and both sets of players even decided to shower during that wait too, the suspension was down to the linesman being hit with an object from the home section in Girona as Girona had just conceded deep into stoppage time, their dream of automatic promotion to La Liga was over and their fans knew it.

Gijon just waited and waited in Seville and ten minutes later and after the final 30 seconds of the game in Girona was played news came through and the party in Seville started, Gijon were back in La Liga after three seasons in the second division.

Girona bottled it and even went on to do the same in the play-offs too but take nothing away from Gijon they deserved promotion last season and achieved it against the odds and it was a miracle they managed to get promoted.

Gijon were banned from signing players last season by the LFP due to unpaid bills so to get promoted is quite an achievement but they did so playing a very good brand of attacking football and what has got them up for me is the fact that they are a very good young side with lots of talented youngsters and some are bound to catch your eye this season believe me.

Gijon conceded 27 goals last season and that was the best in the division, only third placed Girona with 35 goals conceded could come close and Gijon's 57 goals scored gave them the sixth best attack in the division too.

El Molinon was a fortress with just one defeat there all season and 48 points from a possible 63 picked up there and their away record was pretty damn good too with just one defeat on their travels all season and 34 points from a possible 63 picked up, just two games lost all season without being able to sign any new players is incredible and when you consider the Champions Betis ended last season with eight defeats it shows you the size of Gijon's achievement but six draws at home and thirteen draws away from home cost them the title.

El Molinon is the oldest football stadium in Spain and was built in 1908 and holds around 30,000, Gijon have spent 41 seasons in La Liga and 42 in the second division of Spanish Football aswell as having six seasons in the UEFA Cup since they formed in 1905.

Gijon will be exciting to watch this season and even though the LFP enabled them to sign players at the start of this month their dealings will still be subject to restrictions making it incredibly difficult for them to recruit still even without the ban but don't under-estimate this side full of talented youngsters, from what I saw of Gijon last season though they seem to struggle defensively from set-pieces so keep an eye on that.

Another season at Real Madrid and this time it's with a new man at the helm and this time around it's Rafa Benitez who is heavily criticised by many supporters outside Spain but I don't agree with people who say he's going to be a failure.

I've watched every game bar one that Real Madrid have played this pre-season and although you can't read much into pre-season at all as it's all about fitness I've been extremely extremely impressed with what I've seen.

The side is just all-round much more organised and structured and not only does it look more solid and more hard to break down but it's more disciplined and the defence actually look like they can defend better than what they did last season.

Benzema and Pepe will miss this one will through injury but when fit Benzema's role in this side will be interesting because for me he's an excellent back-up option that's it because for me he wouldn't be in my eleven.

In pre-season Benitez has put Bale in the number ten role which gives him a free-roam role and the freedom and it's made him look an actual threat now and a much better player because last season he was poor, frustrating and just didn't look good enough to be in the white shirt.

Bale has also made it clear he'd like to play as a second striker or a lone striker at times when required and although just like Benitez I wanted Cristiano to play upfront it does appear that Cristiano would rather play on the flanks than up top.

It's going to be interesting to see what Benitez goes with when the side is fully fit but the eleven he picks and how he sets it up in Asturias will give us a pretty good idea but here's the eleven I would go with when everyone is fit.

  • Casilla
  • Danilo
  • Varane
  • Ramos
  • Marcelo
  • Kroos
  • Modric
  • Ronaldo
  • Isco(CAM)
  • James Rodriguez
  • Bale(Striker)
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Bale can do it as a striker for me and link up with Cristiano and James on the flanks and Isco behind him in the number ten role because Isco's creativity is perfect for the number ten role and with the set up I've given above this enables you to have your best eleven players all on the pitch at the same time.

James Rodriguez can play on the flanks and he can do a very good job make no mistake about it but I do see Benitez going with Benzema up top with Isco on the bench and Bale in that number '10' role over Isco.

Danilo, Casilla and Lucas Vazquez are all good signings, Danilo has more pace about him than Carvajal but for me not only can he defend better than Carvajal but he's just an all round better defender than him and has really impressed me in pre-season.

Whether De Gea joins the club or not Real Madrid still have an excellent new goalkeeper in Casilla who is a brilliant shotstopper and will do a great job as number 1 and Navas is also excellent cover as the number 2.

It's a shame the way Casillas left and I'll miss him because for me he's the best goalkeeper I've ever seen but I don't really want to go into how and why Casillas left apart from say that it was handled incredibly poorly and he left in a bad manner through no fault on his own.

I'd like to thank Casillas for everything he's done for Spanish football and the success he brought to it and to the national side in Spain, he'll always be a legend in my eyes and I wish him the best of luck luck with his new club Porto.

To those who say Benitez will be a failure at Real Madrid that's your opinion and you're fully entitled to it but if you come and tell me this without facts and reasoning I'll question why you've told me, this isn't going to the Benitez we've seen in the past.

Benitez has a superstar side at his disposal and not only will we see a more solid Real Madrid side this season defensively but we'll still see the same Real Madrid side we saw last season in the attacking areas but defensively they'll be much more solid and much more stable.

Ancelotti's sacking was handled poorly but it was the right decision, his lack of rotation and his poor record against the top five teams in La Liga was absolutely abysmal and for a Real Madrid coach it's nowhere near acceptable.

I love Ancelotti, he's a great person and a great man and an excellent manager and I thank him for La Decima and wish him well for the future but stats don't lie and it was the right decision to dispose of his services in the end.

Never ever write Real Madrid off.

Real Madrid had the best attack in La Liga last season with 118 goals but their away record which showed Ancelotti's record in the big games against the top sides and it highlighted it with five defeats on their travels last season, no draws and fourteen wins.

Their attack on their travels was the best in La Liga last season with 53 goals scored but defensively 23 goals conceded on their travels last season gave them the seventh worst defensive record away from home in La Liga and that's not good enough if you want the title.

This is Los Blanco's first visit to El Molinon since 2011 where they recorded a 3-0 away success and Benitez will look to open up his reign with a similar success and he'll look to do it on a Sunday night in Asturias with El Molinon extremely noisy and Gijon attacking with no fear so expect a cracker.

Real Betis vs. Villareal
Sunday 23 August 2015, 9:30pm BST

Real Betis return to La Liga after just one season away and host the Yellow Submarine who enter this season with a new-look strikeforce after a summer that saw star man Luciano Vietto depart for Simeone's men in the Spanish Capital, saw Gerard Moreno head to Espanyol, Uche head to Mexico and Giovani Dos Santos head to the MLS.

Betis have made ten signings so far and these include attacking midfielder Francisco Portillo who signs on a permanent basis from Malaga after impressing under Mel last season whilst on loan, Algerian attacking midfielder Foued Kadir, Italian right-back Cristiano Piccini, Brazilian midfielder Petros, and Argentine centre-back German Pezzella from River Plate.

The other five signings are French midfielder Didier Digard who will be known for previous spells at French club Nice and English side Middlesbrough, Egyptian centre-back Amro Tarek, experienced German centre-back Heiko Westermann who has been capped for the German national side 27 times and has had spells at at Schalke and Hamburg in recent years, experienced Peru international and left-winger Juan Manuel Vargas joins from Fiorentina and can also operate at left-back.

The star signing without question is Dutch attacking midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart who joins the club on a free transfer and at 32 years of age sees Betis as the perfect stage to try and impress the Dutch national coach as Van Der Vaart aims to be in the Dutch party that attends next year's European Championships in France.

Van Der Vaart is an excellent signing and a real coup for the club on a free transfer and although he'll miss this game and next week's trip to the Santiago Bernabeu his experience and quality will be a prize asset for the club this season.

Van Der Vaart's shooting from outside the area and his all-round passing are perfect for the Spanish game and I feel that he's going to be so important for the club this season that when he's missing like he is for the first two games of this season that other players have to step up to the plate and deliver.

Real Betis are the fifth biggest club in Spain in my opinion and I do feel that people outside Spain fail to actually realise how big Real Betis are, they are a huge club and it's put into real context when many in Spain debate over whether they're the fifth biggest club or fourth biggest club in Spain and I'm on the fifth biggest club in Spain side of the debate I'll be honest.

Real Betis due to their size always lure you into a false sense of security and they did it when they were relegated in 2014 because you always thought look they're in the Europa League they're a huge club, we won't lose Betis get over yourself and we did.

When it comes to Real Betis we are lured into thinking they'll be fine due to their size but this season I'm just going to give my opinion on where they'll finish and whether they'll go down or not this season based on the squad and what I've seen of them, honesty is always the best policy.

The Estadio Benito Villamarin holds around 56,000 and the club will have over 40,000 season ticket holders this season and historically it's been a fortress especially in La Liga and it will be extremely tough for visiting sides to go there and get a result this season which will give Betis an advantage in their quest to avoid relegation this season.

Four defeats there last season in the second division needs to be improved upon which will be difficult but not impossible, defensively at home last season they conceded just 18 goals and scored 42 which is excellent and if they can match that in La Liga they'll be onto something quite magical.

In general last season out of the 42 games they played in the second division they scored 73 goals and conceded 40 goals which would be excellent if they get near that or match that in La Liga this season it really would.

Betis aren't done in the transfer market and coach Pepe Mel still doesn't have the pacey striker he really does desire but in attack last season's striking partnership of Jorge Molina and Ruben Castro can certainly help them in La Liga score the goals they need to survive.

It'll be difficult of course it will as they'll be up against a step up in opposition and facing better defenders but last season Molina and Castro were prolific and incredible as a striking partnership and not only did Ruben Castro get 32 goals in the second division last season but as a pair they produced 51 goals and if they get anywhere near even half of that total in La Liga this season then Betis will be fine and I'm excited to see how the pair get on in La Liga.

The Yellow Submarine have made eight signings so far and those include loan deals for striker Leo Baptistao who was on loan at Rayo last season and joins the Yellow Submarine on loan from Atleti and French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola who is just 22 years of age and has 21 caps for the French under 21's side and joins on loan from PSG to deputise in goal whilst The Yellow Submarine's main goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo remains injured and won't return until October-November time.

Other signings include another goalkeeper in Mariano Barbosa who joins from Sevilla, centre-back Victor Ruiz who joins from Valencia after impressing in defence at El Madrigal last season for the Yellow Submarine and highly talented Malaga pair and wingers Samu Castillejo and Samuel Garcia.

The two star signings so far and the best are the club's two new strikers who will form a new striking partnership together and that is Roberto Soldado who joins the club from English side Tottenham Hotspur and will play in La Liga again for the first time since leaving rivals Valencia in 2013 and French striker Cedric Bakambu who joins the club from Turkish side Bursaspor where he has an impressive scoring record for the club scoring 13 goals in 21 appearances.

Nahuel Leiva is a player with a big future and one who's really impressed me in pre-season and at just 18 he looks a threat and comfortable at playing as an attacking midfielder and a winger and this season I'm sure Marcelino will give him the game time so you can all see how good this guy is and he's another one of Spain's brightest talents that shone in Greece in the summer as he was part of the victorious Spain Under 19's squad who won the European Championships this summer.

Villarreal are the best supported club in the whole of Europe with their stadium holding half of the population of the city and they manage to fill it on a regular basis and their season ticket campaign this season will enhance that further with a season ticket costing you around £90 in English money and not only does it give you entry to all 19 La Liga home games it also gives you free entry to all Copa Del Rey and UEFA Europa League games aswell as the club's B and C teams matches.

The Yellow Submarine expect between 17,000-19,000 season ticket holders this season and in mid June they had confirmed 15,000 had been sold which was 8% on last season's total and a record high and it's yet again another season ticket campaign this season that's been well thought, well promoted and well priced.

The Yellow Submarine have lost Vietto who has signed for Atleti and the extremely effective Russian winger Cheryshev who is now back at Real Madrid after having an excellent season on loan at El Madrigal last season so The Yellow Submarine have lost 16 goals in total with 12 of those coming from Vietto and have lost the nine assists which came from Cheryshev last season.

Soldado was fantastic for Valencia last time he was in La Liga and was brilliant during his time at Getafe too and despite failing in the English game there's reasons behind that because for me when you play in a much weaker league where the defences are so poor that you have much more time to think about things than you do in a far stronger league which La Liga is it's difficult for you.

The English game isn't one of the top three leagues in Europe and that goes without saying but all I will say is Soldado just isn't the type of player who will succeed in a league which is played at a thousand miles an hour where teams struggle to keep the ball for long enough periods, Soldado is more suited to a more technical and superior league and I'm so so glad he's back in one by returning to La Liga.

Some will say it's a gamble for the Yellow Submarine given his age and his poor time at Tottenham but I really do think it's a coup for the Yellow Submarine and a fantastic fantastic signing and I fully expect him to beat Vietto's goal tally of 12 last season and score 15-20 goals this season under Marcelino.

Bakambu is a striker who is aerially excellent, powerful and has a decent amount of pace and is a goalscorer and if he and Soldado can work well together as a partnership the home support at El Madrigal are in for a treat but it won't happen from day one, Soldado will hit it off quickly in my opinion but a strike partnership takes time, it never happens overnight.

The Yellow Submarine finished sixth last season and in the first half of the season they were in the race for fourth place and there was some talk of Europa League glory in Poland in May until the winter break came and in the second half of the season injuries and tiredness led to a Europa League exit, a drop in form as the Yellow Submarine slowly hit rough waters.

The Yellow Submarine managed to get over the line in the end and secure a sixth place finish meaning Europa League football again at El Madrigal this season but this season I don't want to see them drop off again in the second half of the season after performing so well in the first half of the season and impressing everybody just like last season.

Things must be improved on and 48 goals scored last season is poor for a side who have ambitions to challenge for the top four as outsiders and it must be added too especially when you consider the fifth placed Sevilla scored 71 goals last season and had a worse defence than The Yellow Submarine conceding more goals.

The Yellow Submarine's away form was poor last season with far too many draws and too few wins with just four wins on their travels and a ridiculous eleven draws, they had the fifth best defence in La Liga this season so if they can remain solid defensively and add to the goals scored from last season and record more wins on their travels this season and don't fall away in the second half of the season they could be the surprise package this season.

The Yellow Submarine's last trip to the Andalusian Capital to face Betis ended in a 1-0 defeat back in September 2013 and they won't want to begin the season with a repeat result and instead they'll want to repeat their April 2008 1-0 away success.

Levante vs. Celta
Sunday 23 August, 9:30pm BST

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Levante host Celta in their opening game after what's been nothing short of an absymal summer for the Valencians off the field and it's not been too great for Celta either despite new additions and this is an interesting opening game for both sides.

Levante right now haven't strengthened and not only have they lost last season's star man and top scorer Barral but they've lost others such as Mohamed Sissoko, Ivanschitz, defender Ivan Ramis to Eibar, Papa Diop, Nigerian striker Kalu Uche who helped them survive along with Barral and Vyntra.

The Valencians have signed three players from relegated Almeria, the first is goalkeeper Ruben, the second is Angel Trujillo who is a centre-back and was the heart of Almeria's defence last season and the third and final one is Verza who really impressed me at the heart of Almeria's midfield last season and is a good signing.

Other signings so far are pacey and powerful 20 year-old Colombian Midfielder Jefferson Lerma on loan from Colombian side CD Atletico Huila, Moroccan Defender Feddal who has been signed from Italian side Parma and strikers Nabil Ghilas and Deyverson from Porto on loan and Portuguese side Belenenses respectively.

Ghilas scored seven goals playing as a striker for relegated Cordoba last season who finished rock bottom and is a good signing but if he can't reach double-figures he'll put Levante under real real pressure.

Deyverson is the club's record signing and cost them 2 million Euros and his goals record is very impressive, he scored 11 goals in 24 games in the two seasons he played for Portuguese side Belenenses and he will need to reach that total or more to justify his fee this season.

Levante's summer off the field has been rocky and unstable just when it looked like they were set for a promising future and one spent higher up the table and not in a relegation battle each season when American Businessman Robert Sarver made 56 million Euros bid to take over the club and promised manager Lucas Alcaraz a 30 million Euros transfer kitty which is huge for a club like Levante.

His takeover attempt got close and it went to a vote and the Levante foundation of trustees rejected Sarver's takeover with just 14 of the 33 members voting in favour of the takeover meaning Sarver narrowly missed out on his purchase of the club becoming successful.

Levante remain in a poor financial situation and not only did the vice president walk out but also a couple of the 14 directors that voted in favour of Sarver's takeover walked out of the club days after his takeover was rejected and the uncertainty and shambles off the pitch continues and more departures from the current squad could still happen which is in a worry in itself given Levante are overall a weaker side than last season.

Levante are very proud and happy to be the underdog in the city of Valencia and the comments that came out after Sarver's takeover came out summed it up and made me admire them more 'We aren't selling the club for fear of relegation'

I admire them like I say but this really could come back to haunt them if the club are relegated this season but I must admit some of Sarver's plans left alot to be desired they really do and the next two weeks are huge for the club because if signings aren't made in defence and attack Levante could be in serious trouble.

Levante are likely to have around 18,000 season ticket holders this season which is superb considering their stadium holds just over 25,000 and they are in a city where the biggest club is Valencia who are huge compared to themselves.

Full credit to the club on their season ticket pricing though because it's been well promoted and well pricing with all kids and everyone under the age of 15 getting a free season ticket and adults being able to secure a season ticket for between £80-£120.

Levante have been in La Liga for six successive reasons now and defensively I want to see an improvement this season, their home form was pretty good last season but away form saw them in the bottom three and defensively overall they conceded 67 goals and 30 of those were conceded at home.

Only Rayo were worse with 68 but Rayo is understandable giving their playing style which is all out attacking and forgetting about what's behind them and their ability to score goals is what saves Rayo and their compact ground and atmosphere.

Levante just don't have that and now have to do without Barral's goals and Uche's goals and now have two new strikers who will take time to gel and develop an understanding aswell as a weakened defence in numbers and quality because Almeria at times were poor defensively last season and got relegated because of it so to sign their main centre-back who was at the heart of it last season is strange to say the least.

Barral scored 11 for the club last season and since arriving in January Uche scored four so already that's fifteen goals lost and that may not sound alot to some but for a side like Levante who can't defend it's enormous.

January signings saved Levante last season but they still finished 14th just two points clear of the relegation zone and the 2-1 victories at home against Eibar and Cordoba is what's kept them up and if the Cordoba game didn't have four to five minutes of stoppage time Levante would now be in the second division and not La Liga, both games they had to come from behind and Levante cannot keep doing that, this season must be better and they must defend a whole lot better.

As for Celta they've lost most of last season's attack meaning their summer in terms of transfer dealings has been poor with experienced midfielder Krohn Delhi leaving to go to Sevilla and then seeing Charles and Santi Mina depart the club to go to Malaga and Valencia respectively and see experienced Alex Lopez depart for English second division side Sheffield Wednesday which is a strange move all round.

Signings so far include young Serbian winger Dejan Drazic who is just nineteen and may feature for the B side more this season than the senior side, striker Iago Aspas who signed from English side Liverpool for 3.5 million and returns the club where his career first started, Swedish under 21-striker John Guidetti who impressed at the European Championships in the Czech Republic this summer and has a bright future and exciting Norwegian Winger Daniel Wass who can be a real hit for the club this season and you need to keep an eye on him when Celta get a free-kick because he's pretty damn good when it comes to getting a free-kick into the net!

Nolito was the star man last season and with Pedro likely to depart Barcelona he could be another departure from the club this summer but it would be good business for Celta because the deal would give the club around 14 million Euros and the player would remain at the club until January giving Celta an excellent transfer fund come January.

Guidetti is a talented young striker who I really rate and despite Aspas not being the best striker I've seen play the game he is good enough to get the goals in this side because Celta are so expansive and so attacking in their way of playing it will enable him and Guidetti to shine, Celta are good at getting young attacking players to shine due to their way of playing so prepare for Guidetti and Wass to excite you this season and Aspas to prove some of you who don't rate him wrong.

It's disappointing to see Celta lose most of last season's attack because they finished 8th four points off a Europa League place and I'd really love for them to qualify for Europe and their 47 goals scored last season needs adding to if they're to achieve European football but defensively they had the seventh best defensive record last season so even despite their expansive style they can defend too, their away record last season only returned five wins and 22 points in total and that must improve this season if they're to qualify for Europe.

Celta love their trips to Valencia to face Levante and they've won their last three visits and only played them four times in La Liga and began the meetings with a 1-1 draw in Valencia in 2006, last season's encounter was incredibly tight and either side could have won it but a late goal from Charles gave Celta the three points.

Both sides are weaker than last season, Celta slightly weaker, Levante much weaker as I've explained above and given that this fixture in Valencia is always tight I really wouldn't expect too many goals here.

GRANADA V EIBAR(MONDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
Granada vs. Eibar
Monday 24 August 2015, 7:30pm BST

Granada return for another season in La Liga looking for less stress, less worry and less time spent in the relegation battle than the amount of time they spent in it last season as they look to host an Eibar side who remain in La Liga after being relegated once in May then again in July and promoted in July too, it's been that kind of summer (no it actually has)

Coach Jose Ramon Sandoval came out this summer in the media and said 'I'm going to build a Granada side that's competitive this season' and you know what Mr Sandoval you've done it in truly spectacular fashion.

Full credit to Sandoval and the team behind the scenes because eleven new signings have been brought in already and include a new goalkeeper, a new right-back, a left-back, two new centre-backs,two new wingers, a central midfielder, a holding midfielder and two new strikers.

The best signings so far that really stand out are right-back Miguel Lopes from Sporting Lisbon on loan who offers strength at right-back, the return of Ibanez from Valencia on loan who was superb for the club last season, holding midfielder Ruben Perez on a four year deal from Atleti after impressing for the club last season and centre-back David Lomban who was at the heart of Elche's defence last season and was a rock.

Granada are also chasing pacey striker Thievy Bifouma who has returned to Espanyol for the time being after being on loan at relegated Almeria last season where he produced some impressive performances and will be a great signing for any of the bottom-half teams in La Liga and if Granada capture him he'll add even more pace to their attack which is already pacey this season.

Overall Granada are a much stronger outfit this season and the signings have been brilliant because not only have they strengthened the squad they've added to it and it's all well and good adding quantity to a side but you must add quality to it do and Granada have done just that.

The problem for Granada last season was the problem it's always been and that's the lack of goals and just 29 goals were scored last season and just 13 of them came from their home games and they were the lowest scorers in La Liga last season.

Somehow Granada stayed up by finishing 17th and their better head-to head record against Deportivo and Eibar combined into calculation saw them survive but don't forget what Jose Ramon Sandoval came in and did because when Granada looked doomed he managed to take over a side and pull off the great escape by winning three and drawing one, losing none of his four games in charge of the club last season.

Sandoval took over a club six points from safety with four games remaining and one of those games were at home to then current champions Atleti and all of a sudden the task looked impossible but he pulled it off and full credit to him.

The lack of goals has to be improved up on this season that goes without saying and the home record too because four wins isn't enough and although they lost only five times at home last season ten draws is too many, the Nuevo Los Carmenes is a tough place to visit but the draws must be reduced at home and the wins must be increased compared to last season's total.

Off the pitch a new training complex has been opened and matches some of the best training complexes in the whole of Spain and despite last season's poor showing the fans have come back and got right behind the team and already 15,000 season tickets have been sold for a stadium that holds under 25,000.

In pre-season Granada have played more offensively and looked more of a threat going forward as Sandoval has adopted a 4-3-3 system and is likely to play El Arabi up top again with Rochina and Ibanez in support on the flanks.

Granada with the powerful presence of Babin and solidity and strength of Lomban have a very powerful and strong centre-back pairing this season and if they can add more goals to their game they should spend less time in the relegation battle this season and survive yet again but whether they can or not remains to be seen but there's certainly more optimism around the club this season and rightly so indeed.

Eibar have lost some of last season's squad and had to complete a major squad overhaul this summer with eleven signings which include the likes of Midfielder Adrian Gonzalez from relegated Elche,left-back Antonio Luna from English side Aston Villa on a free transfer, right-winger Keko from Albacete, centre-back Ivan Ramis from Levante, centre-back Mauro Dos Santos from relegated Almeria.

The best signing Eibar have made this summer though is the loan signing of striker Borja Baston from Atleti who was a loan at second division side Real Zaragoza last season and headed to Eibar when it looked destined he was heading to Las Palmas instead.

Baston notched 23 times for Zaragoza last season and has a bright future in the game at just 22 years of age and it's a fantastic signing for Eibar because he is a fantastic talent and a very good striker as he proved for Zaragoza last season and he definitely deserves a season in La Liga to test himself at the highest level of Spanish Football.

For Eibar to have any chance of survival they must improve from what I've seen of them defensively in pre-season because Luna for me gets beaten by his opponent far far too easily, Ramis was pretty poor in a Levante defence last season that shipped goals at a rapid rate, Mauro Dos Santos was part of a defence that got relegated and defended poorly at times.

Eibar will also need Borja Baston to reach double figures to give them a decent chance of getting the goals to win enough games/points to put them within a chance of survival but it's going to be incredibly difficult for them due to their limited budget but they can survive as they proved last season.

Having Eibar in La Liga last season was brilliant but this season I feel uneasy and a little uncomfortable having them in it due to the whole situation with Elche and to be honest we've spent all summer in the courts over it and I need a break myself because I'm mentally shattered from it all so god knows how the people at the top of each of these clubs feel!

Eibar having a second season in La Liga is monumental for them because not only does it seem them have the funds and financial base to now extend Ipurua but they've achieved another dream of theirs and that was to have their second season in La Liga, whether that makes me feel uneasy or comfortable it changes little, Eibar are in La Liga for a second season, I love them and they are just an incredible dream and I have absolutely nothing against the club at all because they're incredible, I'm just feeling uneasy and comfortable about this.

Eibar's home record needs to improve this season because eleven defeats from nineteen home games is going to put you in serious bother but what saved them last season is the fact that their away record was so good but in the second half of the season teams started to find them out and not leave themselves as exposed to Eibar's counter so Eibar will need other ideas/plans on their travels this season to have a decent away record but they must improve their home record they really must because if they don't it's lights out.

These sides met for the first time ever last season and met twice with a 1-1 draw at Ipurua and at Nuevo Los Carmenes Granada dominated the game and were so unlucky infront of goal with their home support behind them but the game ended 0-0 and was a game Granada should have won but another winnable game at home passed them by.

This isn't going to be the most exciting game you'll see this season nor is it going to be a game full of goals but it's going to be a fascinating opening game for both sides because defeat at this stage in games like these can put you on a slippery slope due to the head to head stakes counting and whether this game is the first game or the tenth game of the season it's massive for both these sides and defeat isn't thinkable.

Bettting tips

THIS WEEK'S FREE TIP FOR NON SUBSCRIBERS-SEVILLA TO WIN AWAY AT MALAGA(FRIDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
This week's free tip for non-subscribers: Sevilla to win away at Malaga

All other tips are sent to subscribers exclusively at La Liga Football Blog. Find more details at the membership page.

So that's the preview for the very first week of La Liga action—how will things pan out in the Spanish top flight?

Twitter: @AdamLaLiga

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2013 Review,5,2014/15,4,2014flashback,15,2015 Flashback,18,2016 Review,1,20BPL15,4,21BPL15,5,22BPL15,3,23BPL15,2,24BPL15,3,25 Oct,3,25BPL15,2,26BPL15,1,27BPL15,3,28BPL15,1,29BPL15,3,2BPL15,5,2BPL16,9,2UCL15,5,2UCL16,3,3 Match Series,1,30BPL15,2,31BPL15,2,32BPL15,1,33BPL15,1,34BPL15,3,35BPL15,1,36BPL15,2,37BPL15,3,38BPL15,4,3BPL15,8,3BPL16,3,3UCL15,6,3UCL16,4,4BPL15,7,4BPL16,4,4UCL15,3,4UCL16,5,5BPL15,4,5BPL16,2,5UCL15,3,6BPL15,2,6BPL16,2,6UCL15,5,6UCL16,2,7BPL15,11,7BPL16,3,7UCL15,8,8BPL15,8,8BPL16,3,8UCL15,9,9BPL15,3,9BPL16,2,9UCL15,4,Aaron Ramsey,1,Abner Mares,1,AC Milan,2,Adam,24,Adam Berri,3,Adil,45,Adrian Granados,2,Adrien Broner,4,AFC,1,Afzal,1,Ahmad,1,AJ Styles,1,Ajax,2,Akshata,22,Al Haymon,3,Albania,3,Alex,148,Alexander Brand,1,American Boxing,90,American Football,40,Amir Khan,5,Andre Berto,3,Andre Ward,5,Andrea Di Luisa,1,Andy Carroll,1,Andy Lee,1,Andy Murray,2,Andy Weimann,1,Anthony Crolla,5,Anthony Joshua,13,Anthony Martial,1,Antoine Griezmann,1,Antonio Tarver,2,Arda Turan,1,Argentina,12,Arsenal,13,Arsenal FC,94,Arthur Abraham,1,Artur Szpilka,1,AS Monaco,2,Aston Villa,14,Athletic Bilbao,2,Athletics,4,Atlanta Falcons,2,Atlanta Hawks,6,Atletico Bilbao,1,Atletico Madrid,18,Austin Trout,1,Australia,4,Australia Cricket,6,Australian Cricket,2,Australian GP,2,Australian Open,4,Austria,3,Austrian GP,1,Badou Jack,2,Bahrain GP,1,Bahrain GP 2016,3,Bahrain Grand Prix,3,Bailey,90,Ballon d'Or,3,Baltimore Ravens,1,Bangladesh,5,Banlgadesh,1,Barcelona,13,Barclays Premier Laegue,4,Barclays Premier League,340,Barclays Premier League 2013/14,87,Barlcays Premier League,1,Barlclays Premier League,1,Bart,3,Baseball,4,Basel,3,Basketbal,3,Basketball,70,Bayer Leverkusen,2,Bayern Munich,29,Becky Lynch,1,Belgian Grand Prix,1,Belgium,13,Ben,1,Benfica,1,Besiktas,1,Betting,2,Betting Guide,1,Between the Rounds,4,Billy Hunter,1,Billy Joe Saunders,2,Birmingham City,1,BJ Flores,1,Blaine Gabbert,1,Blog,3,Bob Arum,1,Borussia Dortmund,12,Borussia Monchengladbach,1,Bosnia-Herzegovina,3,Boston,1,Boston Celtics,4,Boston Red Sox,1,Bournemouth,6,Boxing,291,Boxing 2014,23,Boxing 2015,114,Boxing 2016,68,Boxing 2017,14,Boxing Comment,75,Boxing Live Coverage,1,Boxing News,18,Boxing Preview,38,Boxing Reports,101,BoxingFeatured,5,BPL,39,BPL 2014/15,173,BPL 2015/15,1,BPL 2015/16,68,BPL Comment,89,BPL News,2,BPL Predictions,4,BPL Preview,9,BPL Reports,15,BPL Round-Up 2013/14,4,BPL Roundup,5,BPL14Preview,20,BPL15,1,BPLFeatured,3,BPLLaunch14,11,Bravo,1,Brazil,17,Brazil 2014,13,Brazilian Grand Prix,3,BREELAND,1,Britannia Stadium,1,British Boxing,61,British Grand Prix,2,Brock Lesnar,8,Brock Lesnar WrestleMania,1,Brooklyn Nets,1,Bryant Jennings,1,Buffalo Bills,3,Bundesliga,20,Bundesliga 2013/14,2,Bundesliga 2014/15,2,Bundesliga 2016/17,3,Burnley FC,4,Callum Smith,2,Calvin Johnson,1,Cam Newton,2,Camacho,1,Cambridge United,1,Cameron,2,Cameroon,3,Canada,1,Canadian GP,1,Canelo Alvarez,4,CaneloGGG,1,Capital One Cup,3,Car Racing,1,Cardiff,2,Cardiff City,1,Cardiff City Stadium,1,Carl Frampton,3,Carl Froch,8,Carloina Panthers,1,Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series,3,Carlton Tri-Series,2,Carolina Panthers,5,Carrow Road,1,Castleford Tigers,2,Celtic,1,Celtics,1,Center,1,Chad Henne,1,Champion,1,Champions League,5,Champions League 2013-14,4,Champions League Round-Up,3,Champions Trophy,21,Championship,1,Championship Boxing,1,Charles Martin,2,Charlotte,2,Ched Evans,1,Chelsea,21,Chelsea FC,81,Chennai Super Kings,13,Chicago Bulls,8,Chicago Cubs,2,Chile,5,Chinese GP,1,Chinese Grand Prix,2,Chris Algeri,1,chris arreola,1,Chris Paul,1,Chris Weidman,3,Clay,1,Cleveland Browns,1,Cleveland Cavaliers,23,Cleveland Indians,2,Clippers,1,CM Punk,2,College Basketball,1,College Football,2,Colombia,6,Column,1,Combat Sports,9,comeback,1,Comment,21,CommentBox,5,Confederations Cup,3,Conor McGregor,22,Contract,1,Cook,3,Copa America,2,Copa America 2016,1,Copa Del Rey,2,Costa Rica,5,Craven Cottage,1,Cricket,181,Cricket 2013,1,Cricket 2014,4,Cricket 2015,89,Cricket 2016,4,Cricket Comment,22,Cricket News,10,Cricket Reports,6,Cricket World Cup,35,Cricket World Cup 2015,35,Cricket World Cup Pool Stage,8,Cristiano Ronaldo,4,Croatia,9,CruiserWeight Bout,1,Crystal Palace,17,Crystal Palace FC,3,CSKA Moscow,1,CT13,6,CWCFeatured,15,Czech Republic,3,Daley Blind,1,Dallas Cowboys,6,Dallas Mavericks,3,Dan Henderson,1,Daniel Bryan,2,Daniel Cormier,2,Daniel Jacobs,1,Danny Garcia,3,Danny Green,1,Darleys Perez,1,Darmstadt 98,1,Darts,12,Darts 2015,6,Darts Comment,7,David De Gea,2,David Ferrer,2,David Haye,4,David Lemieux,2,Deal,1,Dean Ambrose,1,Decision,1,Deep,21,Defoe,1,Dele Alli,1,Delhi Daredevils,10,Demetrious Johnson,1,Demetrius Johnson,2,Denis Lebedev,1,Denver Broncos,9,Denver Nuggets,1,Deontay Wilder,5,Dereck Chisora,4,Derek Fisher,1,Derrick Rose,1,Detroit Lions,3,Detroit Pistons,3,Devon Alexander,1,Dhoni,4,Dierry Jean,2,Dillian Whyte,1,Djokovic,2,Dnipro,1,Dolph Ziggler,1,Dominic Breazeale,1,Dominick Cruz,2,Doncaster Rovers,1,Donté Green,1,Dortmund,4,Drivers Championship,1,Duke Blue Devils,1,Dwyane Wade,1,Dynamo Kyiv,1,E.J. Manuel,1,EaglesMusings,5,Eastern Conference,1,ECB,9,Ecuador,3,Eden Hazard,1,Edgbaston,1,EFL Cup,2,El Clasico,10,Elio Rojas,1,Emirates Stadium,2,England,41,England Cricket,24,England Football,9,England Football Team,3,English Football,2,Episode 1057,1,Episode 1058,1,EPL,9,Eredivisie,2,eric molina,1,Eric Winston,1,Erislandy Lara,1,Errol Spence,2,Errol Spence Jr,1,Etihad Stadium,2,Euro 2016,69,Euro 2016 Comment,5,Euro 2016 Featured,10,Euro 2016 Featured 2,44,Euro 2016 Match Reports,51,Euro 2016 Preview,12,Euro 2016 Preview Series,12,Euro 2016 Round of 16,8,European Football,11,European Roundup,1,Everton,16,Everton FC,24,Exclusives,2,F1,55,F1 2013,3,F1 2014,11,F1 2015,8,F1 2016,6,F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,4,F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2013,1,F1 American GP,2,F1 Grand Prix,4,F1 Indian Grand Prix,1,F1 Indian Grand Prix 2013,2,F1 Malaysian Grand Prix 2014,3,F1 Paddock Access,5,F1 Preview,7,F1 Reports,12,F1 Review,2,FA,2,FA Community Shield,1,FA Cup,6,FA Cup 2013/14,1,FA Cup 2014/15,6,FA Cup Fourth Round,1,Fab Melo,1,Fallout,1,FastLane,2,FC,1,FC Barcelona,35,FC Barcelona Football,1,Featured,3,Featured (Held),5,Featured 1,4,Featured 2,15,Features,1,Felipe Massa,1,Felix Diaz,2,Ferguson,1,Fernando Alonso,2,fernando verdasco,1,Ferrari,4,FIFA,15,FIFA World Cup,76,FIFA World Cup 2014,76,Fight Preview,1,Fighting,20,Final,1,Fined,2,FL72,1,Florida State Seminoles,1,Floyd Mayweather,13,Football,906,Football 2014,7,Football 2015,24,Football 2016,17,football 2017,1,Football Comment,216,Football Featured,1,Football League Championship,2,Football News,13,Football Opinion,1,Football Previews,1,Football Recap,1,Football Reports,27,Football Scouting,1,FootballCommentFeatured,3,FootballFeatured,3,Footballl,1,Formula 1,51,Formula One,33,Formula One 2013,2,Fox,1,FP1,1,FP2,1,France,16,Frankie Edgar,1,Frankie Gavin,1,Fred,1,Free Kicks,1,Free Practice 1,1,Free Practice 2,1,French,1,French Open,3,French Open 2015,2,Froch vs. Groves,1,Froch vs. Groves II,1,Fulham,2,Galatasaray,2,Gameweek 1,1,Gameweek 2,1,Gameweek 3,1,Gareth Bale,3,Gareth Southgate,1,Garima,11,Gayle,2,Gennady Golovkin,9,Geno Smith,1,George Groves,8,Georges St-Pierre,1,Gerald Washington,2,German Cup,1,German Football,6,German Grand Prix,2,Germany,23,Ghana,3,Gianluigi Buffon,1,Goldberg,1,Golden State Warriors,19,Goodison Park,2,GP,2,Grand Prix,6,Grand Prix 2013,2,Greatness,1,Greece,4,Green Bay Packers,6,Greg Oden,1,Grizzlies,2,Group A,2,Group B,1,Group D,1,Group Stage,3,Guest Writer,5,Gus,5,Hafeez,1,Hank Lundy,1,Hardik,1,Harry Kane,1,Hasan,3,HBO,7,Heat,1,Heavyweight Boxing,16,Heisman,1,Hell In a Cell,3,Holly Holm,2,Honduras,3,Houston Rockets,13,Hughie Fury,1,Hugo Lloris,1,Hulk,1,Hull City,12,Hungary,4,ICC,21,ICC Champions Trophy,23,ICC Champions Trophy 2013,1,Iceland,7,Ifham,3,Illunga Makabu,1,Impact Live,1,Impact Wrestling,6,ImWithLesnar,9,India,30,India Cricket,20,Indian Cricket,20,Indian Premier League,17,Indiana Colts,4,Indiana Pacers,4,Iniesta,1,injury,3,Insider,1,International,1,International Cricket,18,International Football,58,International Series,1,IPL,40,IPL 2015,39,IPL 2016,1,IPL. IPL 2015,1,Iran,3,Ireland,6,Ireland Cricket,2,Isco,1,Ismael Barroso,2,Italian GP,3,Italian Grand Prix,2,Italy,15,Ivan Rakitic,1,Ivory Coast,3,Jabari Parker,1,Jack,19,Jack EFC,1,Jacksonville Jaguars,2,Jameis Winston,1,James Harden,1,James Rodriguez,1,JamesO,2,Jamie McDonnell,1,January 2015 Transfers,8,January Transfer Window,1,Japan,4,Japanese GP,1,Japanese Grand Prix,1,Jared,1,Jason Sosa,2,Javier Hernandez,1,Jayati,32,Jean Pascal,1,Jeff Green,1,Jermall Charlo,3,Jerome Boateng,1,Jessie Vargas,3,Jodie Meeks,1,Joe Hart,1,Joe Root,2,Joel Brunker,1,Joey,3,John Cena,6,Johnson,1,Jon Jones,4,Jonny Hendricks,1,Jordy Nelson,1,Jorge Linares,2,Jose Aldo,6,Jose Mourinho,2,Josh Warrington,2,Juan Martin Del Potro,2,Julian Williams,2,Julio Cesar Chavez,2,Julius Indongo,1,Julius Randle,1,Jurgen Klopp,1,Juventus,25,Kamran,2,Kansas City Chiefs,2,Kansas City Royals,3,Kansas Jayhawks,1,Karim Benzema,1,Kassem,67,KC Stadium,1,Keith,17,Keith Thruman,1,Keith Thurman,3,Kell Brook,10,Kelvin Gastelum,1,Ken,1,Kennedy,1,Kentucky Wildcats,1,Kevin,1,Kevin De Bruyne,1,Kevin Durant,2,Kevin Kolb,1,Kevin Lee,1,Kevin Owens,1,Khawaja,1,Khedira,1,Kimi Raikkonen,2,Kings XI Punjab,8,kiryl relikh,1,KKR,3,Knee Surgery,1,Kobe Bryant,2,Kolade,1,Kolkata Knight Riders,6,Kolkata Night Riders,2,Korean Grand Prix,1,Krzysztof Glowacki,1,Kubrat Pulev,2,Kumar Sangakkara,1,Kyle,8,LA Clippers,1,LA Lakers,1,La Liga,43,La Liga 2013/14,4,La Liga 2014/15,14,La Liga 2015/16,14,La Liga 2016/17,3,La Liga Comment,4,Lakers,3,Lampard,1,Latest,2,Layton,3,League Cup,1,LeBron James,4,Leeds,1,Leeds Rhinos,1,Leicester,2,Leicester City,16,Leo Santa Cruz,2,Leonard Bundu,2,Lewis Hamilton,17,Liam Smith,1,Liberty Stadium,1,Liga Adelante,1,Liga BBVA,4,Ligue 1,7,Ligue 1 2015/16,1,Lionel Messi,4,Lists,3,Live Coverage,79,Live DRAW,1,LiveFeatured,7,Liverpool,1,Liverpool FC,113,London 2012,1,London Anniversary Games,1,Long Reads,1,Lord's,1,Los Angeles Clippers,4,Los Angeles Lakers,7,Lotus,1,Louis Van Gaal,4,Lucas Browne,1,Lucian Bute,2,Ludogorets,1,Luis Enrique,2,Luis Figo,1,Luis Suarez,4,Luka Modric,1,Luke,7,Luke Bishop,26,Luke Campbell,1,Luke Rockhold,1,Lyoto Machida,1,Madrid,2,Malaysian Grand Prix,1,Maldini,9,Malinga,2,Man City,6,Man United,4,Man Utd,6,Manager,1,Manchester,2,Manchester City,69,Manchester City FC,10,Manchester Derby,3,Manchester United,62,Manchester United FC,62,MANCRY,1,Manny Pacquiao,9,Manuel Neuer,3,Marco Reus,1,Marcos Maidana,2,Marcus,1,Mark de Mori,1,Mark Sanchez,1,Mark Webber,1,Marseille,1,Martin Murray,1,Mata,1,Match Reports,2,Matchday Featured 2,6,Matt Lynch,6,Matt Newton,5,Mattheaus,1,MayMac,5,MayPac,2,MayweatherPacquiao,2,Media,1,Memphis,1,Mercedes,19,Merseyside Derby,3,Messi,1,Mesut Ozil,2,Mexico,7,MGM Grand Garden Arena,1,MI,1,Miami HEAT,11,Michael Bisping,1,Michael Laudrup,1,Michael Schumacher,1,Michigan State Spartans,1,Middlesborough,1,Middlesbrough,3,Miguel Cotto,2,Mikey,339,Mikey Garcia,4,Milwaukee Bucks,2,Minnesota Timberwolves,2,Misbah,1,Mitchell,1,Mixed Martial Arts,5,MLB,13,MLB 2013,4,MLB 2015,1,MLB News,2,MLB Postseason,1,MMA,106,MMA 2015,6,MMA Genius,59,MNF,1,Mo Farah,3,Mohammed Hafeez,2,Moldova,1,Monaco,4,Monaco GP,1,Monday Night Football,3,Monday Night Raw,17,Month in Review,8,Month in Review 2014,4,Month in Review 2015,3,Montreal,1,Moscow Championships,2,Motorsport,5,Motorsports,3,Muhammad Ali,1,Multimedia,2,Mumbai Indians,11,MUNLIV,1,Murat Gassiev,1,Murray,2,MVP,1,Napoli,4,Nate Diaz,1,nathan cleverly,1,National Basketball Association,16,National Football League,16,NBA,129,NBA 2012/13,1,NBA 2013/14,12,NBA 2014/15,53,NBA 2015,1,NBA 2015/16,12,NBA 2016/17,11,NBA 2017/18,2,NBA All-Star,1,NBA Championship,1,NBA Comment,24,NBA Daily,1,NBA Daily Fix,2,NBA Finals,10,NBA Finals 2013,1,NBA Finals 2015,8,NBA London,2,NBA May 2014,1,NBA MVP,1,NBA News,1,NBA on ABC,1,NBA Playoffs,37,NBA Playoffs 2014,7,NBA Playoffs 2015,24,NBA Playoffs 2016,1,NBA Preview,2,NBA Recap,8,NBA Reports,10,NBA Roundup,3,NBA Summer League,1,NBA Sunday,1,NBAFeatured,9,NBPA,1,NCAAF,1,NCAFF,1,NCCAB,1,Neil,25,Netherlands,7,Netherlands Cricket,1,New England Patriots,8,New Orleans Saints,1,New Year,1,New York Giants,1,New York Jets,3,New York Knicks,6,New York Mets,4,New Zealand,10,New Zealand Cricket,1,Newcastle United,11,Newcastle United FC,8,News,10,NewsFeatured,4,Neymar,3,NFL,77,NFL 2013,18,NFL 2014,1,NFL 2014/15,21,NFL 2015,1,NFL 2015/16,8,NFL 2016/17,8,NFL Comment,6,NFL Eastern Division,1,NFL Kickoff,1,NFL London,3,NFL News,7,NFL Playoffs,18,NFL Playoffs 2015,12,NFL Preview,1,NFL UK,2,NFL Weekly Round Up,1,NFLPlayoffs 14,1,Nicholas Walters,1,Nico Rosberg,9,Nigeria,5,Night Of Champions,1,Nikola Pekovic,1,Nisar,848,Nisar Khan,2,Nisar100,25,Nisar125,25,Nisar150,25,Nisar175,25,Nisar200,25,Nisar225,25,Nisar250,25,Nisar50,13,Nisar75,25,North London Derby,1,Northern Ireland,4,Norwich City,4,Novak Djokovic,5,NRL Australia,2,Nuggets,1,Nurburgring,1,NXT,3,NYJ,1,Oakland Raiders,2,ODI,2,of the Year,1,Offseason,1,Oklahoma City Thunder,5,Old Trafford,2,Oleksandr Usyk,1,Olympics,38,Olympics Nine Bar,30,OtakuGamerSmark,5,Ovince Saint Preux,1,Pakistan,12,Paralympics,1,Paris Saint-Germain,13,Pau Gasol,1,Paul Pogba,1,Paul Smith,1,Peter Quillin,1,Peyton Manning,2,Philadelphia Eagles,3,Phillidelphia Phillies,1,Phillp Hughes,1,Phoenix,2,Pique,1,Pittsburgh Steelers,2,PL Featured,7,Playoffs,1,Podcast,4,Podolski,1,Poland,6,Pollard,1,Porto,4,Portugal,11,Power Rankings,3,Power Rankings 2014,3,PPV,3,PR April 2014,1,Prachi,27,Predictions,4,PredictZone,2,Premier Boxing Champions,12,Premier League,147,Premier League 2016/17,81,Premier League 2016/17 Preview Series,20,Premier League Comment,6,Premier League Round-Up,2,President,1,Preview,1,PreviewsFeatured,3,Pro Wrestling,2,PSV Eindhoven,3,QB Competition Series,3,QPR,3,QUADREE,1,Qualifying,2,Quarter Finals,2,Queens Park Rangers,4,Race Preview,4,Race Review,1,Racing,13,Radja Nainggolan,1,Rafael Nadal,2,Rain,2,Rajasthan Royals,10,Ramos,1,Randy Orton,2,Rankings,6,RAW,9,RAW Review,12,RCB,2,Read Option,1,Real Madrid,48,Real Madrid FC,4,Red Bull,5,Relive Europe,4,Relive Europe 2014/15,1,Renan Barao,1,Review,4,Rey Mysterio,1,RG3,1,RGIII,1,Rhodes,1,Rickie Lambert,1,ricky burns,1,Rio 2016,34,Rio 2016 Day 1,2,Rio 2016 Day 10,2,Rio 2016 Day 11,2,Rio 2016 Day 12,2,Rio 2016 Day 13,2,Rio 2016 Day 14,2,Rio 2016 Day 15,2,Rio 2016 Day 16,2,Rio 2016 Day 2,2,Rio 2016 Day 3,2,Rio 2016 Day 4,2,Rio 2016 Day 5,2,Rio 2016 Day 6,2,Rio 2016 Day 7,2,Rio 2016 Day 8,2,Rio 2016 Day 9,2,Rio 2016 Olympics,1,Rio Roundup,16,Road to WrestleMania 2014,3,Robert Guerrero,1,Robert Lewandowki,1,Robert Whittaker,1,Rocky Fielding,1,Roger Federer,3,Roger Gracie,1,Roland Garros,1,Roma,4,Roman Grosjean,1,Roman Reigns,8,Romania,3,Romelu Lukaku,1,Ronaldo,4,Ronda Rousey,7,Rookie of the Year,2,Rooney,1,Rory,1,Roy Halladay,1,Royal Challangers Bangalore,7,Royal Challengers Bangalore,6,Royal Rumble,1,Rugby,14,Rugby Comment,3,Rugby League,6,Rugby League World Series 2015,2,Rugby World Cup,1,Rumours,1,Running,1,Russell Westbrook,1,Russia,5,Russian GP,1,Russian Grand Prix,1,RVP,1,Ryan Giggs,1,Sacramento Kings,1,Sadam Ali,1,Sam,5,Sam Eggington,1,Samoa Joe,2,Samuel Vargas,1,San Antonio Spurs,10,San Francisco 49ers,1,Sasha Banks,2,Saul Alvarez,6,SB49Preview,1,Schalke,5,Schalke 04,1,Scotland,2,Scott,6,Scott Quigg,2,Scottish Football,1,SDLive,1,Sean,51,Seattle Seahawks,8,Sebastian Vettel,5,Selhurst Park,2,Semi Finals,2,Semi-Final,2,Serge Ibaka,1,Sergey Kovalev,5,Sergio Ramos,1,Sergio Romero,1,Serie A,15,Serie A 2014/15,3,Serie A 2015/16,2,Serie A 2016/17,1,Seth Rollins,7,Sevilla,4,Shahid Afridi,1,Shakhtar Donetsk,3,Shane McMahon,1,Shanghai Masters,1,Shawn Porter,4,Sheamus,1,Sheffield Utd,1,Shogun,1,Showtime,6,Singapore,1,Singapore Grand Prix,3,Singapore Grand Prix 2013,1,Six Nations,1,Sky Bet,1,Slovakia,4,SmackDown,7,SNF,1,Soccer,270,Sochi 2014,1,Sonnen,1,South Africa,8,South African Cricket,5,South Korea,2,Southampton,22,Southampton FC,1,Southampton 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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport: La Liga Week One Preview
La Liga Week One Preview
Preview, breakdown and betting tips for the La Liga 2015/16 opening weekend.
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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport
http://www.thesportmatrix.com/2015/08/la-liga-week-1-preview.html
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