Download Laliga Returns For 2020-21 Season But Real Madrid And Barcelona Are Left To Wait
A day later than planned and only 55 after last season finished, LaLiga is back. But not everyone will be just yet.
The new LaLiga campaign had been scheduled to start on Friday with Granada’s game at home to Athletic Club, only for that to be blocked by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Competition Committee less than 48 hours before the match was due to kick off.
Instead, that fixture will now take place on Saturday at 18:30 local time. Earlier, at 16:00 CET, Eibar host Celta Vigo and the opening day also sees promoted side Cadiz in action at home to Osasuna at 21:00.
All of the games will take place without fans of course, as the “new normal” remains the norm in times of coronavirus. At least for now. And that is especially sad for Cadiz, whose passionate supporters will be unable to witness their team’s long-awaited return to the top flight.
On Sunday at 14:00 CET, Alaves take on Real Betis as Pablo Machin and Manuel Pellegrini begin their respective tenures. At 18:30, Real Valladolid are at home to Real Sociedad, for whom David Silva will be absent after testing positive for Covid-19 at the end of last month.
Also at 18:30 local time, Unai Emery makes his official debut as Villarreal coach as the Yellow Submarine meet promoted Huesca. Later, Valencia host Levante in a derby at Mestalla, where new boss Javi Gracia is already frustrated at a lack of summer signings.
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— LaLigaTV (@LaLigaTV) September 8, 2020
There will be just six matches this weekend because all of the teams involved in European competition last month have been given extra time to prepare for the new season.
Real Madrid and Getafe, knocked out in the last 16 of the Champions League and Europa League respectively in August, will be back in the second round of matches. The two had been due to meet on the opening weekend.
Atletico Madrid and Barcelona do not return until week three, having featured in the Champions League quarter-finals, while Sevilla also kick off in the third round of matches after winning the Europa League.
There will still be no fans, while five substitutions will be allowed again and only six teams are in action on the opening weekend, but LaLiga rarely disappoints and without Real Madrid and Barcelona, this weekend will give a chance for some of the other teams to take the headlines.