The Balls La Liga Preview – Week One Cormac Eklof Barcelona, Football, Real Madrid Last week we were delirious to have the Premier League back in our lives and we thought things couldn’t get any better. Now that they’re getting ready to kick off in the various European leagues, we just don’t know where to look. The Premier League and it’s enormous fan bases, vibrant media delivery and dramatic games. The Bundesliga and it’s incredible matchday crowds, superb diving and flawless hairstyles. Serie A and Mario Balotelli and, oh, wait… Then there’s La Liga. We’re not going to concern ourselves with pointless arguments over which league is better than which or who has the better players. Let’s just all agree that Sky’s bumper package of live La Liga games is a joy for all football fans. Obviously Real Madrid and Barcelona are effectively doing their best to out-buy each other at a level which we have never really seen before. However, it’s not just the big two. You still have to pinch yourself when saying this but, Atletico Madrid will be defending their title this season. That’s right, defending their title. Sure, they lost a few players but some would argue that dropping Costa and adding Mario Mandzukic is actually an improvement at that position. Beyond the big three, Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla, Villarreal and Real Sociedad are all set to challenge for a spot at the top, and should all make some noise in Europe too. What is crystal clear is that this promises to be a La Liga season for the ages. Balls are going to be providing you with a weekly La Liga primer, telling you who’s playing who, what games are on TV and throwing in a few betting suggestions for good measure. Come along and enjoy the season with us. Esta semana los juegos – This weeks games If you are in any doubt as to the increased popularity of La Liga, check out Sky’s schedule for the weekend. Sky are showing a whopping eight live Spanish matches, in fact there’s only two games that are not on the box. It’s like a beautiful orgy of Spanish football. They have been ramping their coverage up season after season, but this is just enormous for fans of La Liga and football in general. Real Madrid, the team on everyone’s mind as we go into the new season, kick off on Monday. Which is quite a quick turn around after their Super Cup defeat to Atletico on Friday night. Ronaldo came on at half time in that one, so he should be raring to go come Monday. Barcelona will no doubt put little Elche to the sword on Sunday night, despite the fact we know Neymar is out (injured ankle). Of last season’s top 3, the champions probably face the toughest weekend, with an trip to Vallecano, always a tough proposition in front of their boisterous home crowd. Here’s the schedule for the opening weekend of La Liga. 23.08. 18:00 Malaga Ath Bilbao Live on Sky Sports 5 23.08. 20:00 Granada CF Dep. La Coruna 23.08. 20:00 Sevilla Valencia Live on Sky Sports 5 23.08. 22:00 Almeria Espanyol Live on Sky Sports 5 24.08. 18:00 Eibar Real Sociedad Live on Sky Sports 5 24.08. 20:00 Barcelona Elche Live on Sky Sports 5 24.08. 20:00 Celta Vigo Getafe 24.08. 22:00 Levante Villarreal Live on Sky Sports 5 25.08. 19:00 Real Madrid Cordoba Live on Sky Sports 5 25.08. 21:00 Rayo Vallecano Atl. Madrid Live on Sky Sports 5 Picos y valles – Peaks and valleys During the season we’re going to bring you updates on teams that are on a roll and of course, teams that can’t tie their own shoe lace. Use this information as you see fit. First update next week, after we’ve had a bit of league action. Algo para el fin de semana, Sir? – Something for the weekend, Sir? Throughout the season we’re going to bring you a look at three bets we particularly like, and one we absolutely love. Real Sociedad to win 5/4 – Real Sociedad were a thoroughly enjoying team to watch last season, and a successful one to boot. Their 7th placed finish came off the back of 16 wins, and they should be confident going into their opener against new boys Eibar. 3 or more 2nd half goals Real Madrid v Cordoba 6/5 – Real will be licking their wounds after Friday night’s loss to Atletico. They should be angry enough to run up a 2nd half cricket score against new boys Cordoba. Rayo Vallecano +1 6/4 – Yes, they are playing the champions, but Rayo are a terrific side at home, and will be looking to get off to a good start in front of their vociferous home fans. Atletico, meanwhile, will potentially be a little softer than usual, having gone all out to win the Super Cup on Friday. El bloqueo de las Bolas La Liga del fin de semana – The Balls La Liga lock of the weekend All season long we’re going to bring you the Balls La Liga lock of the weekend First half handicap Barcelona -1 11/8 – Barca will be raring to go as the season kicks off, and they should have no trouble building an early lead against over-matched Elche, with or without Neymar. Estadísticas – Statistics Transparency is king, so with that in mind, we will be bringing you our season long stats for the above sections. To date, we’re 100%, with a glittering 0-0 record! Disfruta de los juegos !! (Enjoy the games!!) Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.