La Liga returns Friday (!!!) and there are a number of exceptional matches to kick off the race for the title, European places, and to avoid relegation.
[ MORE: New PL schedule ]
Barcelona and Real Madrid get soft landings as they bid to beat each other to the Spanish top-flight’s top honor.
There are plenty more matches to anticipate with fondness, but it all starts with a derby and let’s not deny that eyes will be on the top two regardless of who they meet.
Sevilla v. Real Betis — 4 p.m. ET Thursday
The Seville Derby gives Betis a chance to put down a marker during a poor season, the 12th-place visitors having lost 2-1 at home in the season’s first iteration.
Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla, on the other hand, is sitting in third and hasn’t finished that high since 2008-09 (Yes, despite a Europa League threepeat between 2014-16). Lucas Ocampos has led the way with 10 goals in 22 matches and will like his chances of adding to that total.
Mallorca v. Barcelona — 4 p.m. ET Saturday
Barca hammered Mallorca 5-2 at the Camp Nou on Dec. 7 and the big boys all danced. Lionel Messi had a hat trick with Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez added goals. Suarez is back from injury and Messi is well-rested for the title fight.
The league leaders have a two-point advantage on Real and may not be able to hold it but matches like this are too big of an ask. Even if Barca’s not tight at the back, it’ll be fresh up front.
Real Madrid v. Eibar — 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Madrid’s only win in its last four outings before the coronavirus pause was El Clasico, which is terribly fortunate or this title race would be closer to run.
Real lost just once in its first 24 matches, to Mallorca nonetheless, but hammered Eibar 4-0 at Ipurua Municipal Stadium.
That said, Eibar’s status two points above the drop zone is largely due to three shocking wins over Sevilla, Villarreal, and Atletico Madrid. Those were all at home, though, and this one’s at the Bernabeu.
La Liga schedule, how to watch
TV Channels: beIN Sports USA
Stream Live: Via beinSports
When: From June 11 to July 17
Granada v. Getafe — 1:30 p.m. ET Friday
Valencia v. Levante — 4 p.m. ET Friday
Espanyol v. Alaves — 8 a.m. ET Saturday
Celta Vigo v. Villarreal — 11 a.m. ET Saturday
Leganes v. Valladolid — 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Athletic Bilbao v. Atletico Madrid — 8 a.m. ET Sunday
Real Sociedad v. Osasuna — 4 p.m. ET Saturday