Preparation for the beginning of the La Liga season in the coming months is in full speed. Clubs are well into their training schedules, the team’s sportswear is now available to the public, and now the list of fixtures has been released.
Therefore, it is time for us to take a look at what 2018/19 has got in store for the Spanish Primera Division. From the table changing news that two key Real Madrid members have departed, to the welcoming of the three newly promoted clubs, we have got it covered below in this article.
Overview of Schedule
Last season saw Barcelona take the trophy with a number of teams following closely behind. Within the top 5 were Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia and Villarreal. When it came to the amount of matches won, there was not much in it, considering Atletico, Real and Valencia were so close at 22 and 23 wins compared to Barcelona’s 28.
The opening match of the season unfortunately does not feature the current Champions. However, there is not long to wait until Barcelona take to the pitch as their first game is scheduled for the 18th August which is the day after. And this takes place in their home grounds Camp Nou against Alaves.
Notable Match Dates
The La Liga season for 2018/19 starts on the 17th August with Girona vs Valldolid and ends on the 19th May with Celta Vigo vs Rayo Vallecano. This tournament spans across 9 months, which means there is a large amount of games to watch. However, we have decided to put this list of must-see games together for you which feature the top 5 clubs from last season. Focusing on the matches scheduled between themselves, these are the most notable games you will not want to miss.
- Barcelona – 07/10/18, 28/10/18, 25/11/18, 02/12/18, 03/02/19, 03/03/19, 03/04/19, 07/04/19,
- Atletico Madrid – 20/08/18, 30/09/18, 21/10/18, 25/11/18, 10/02/19, 24/02/19, 07/04/19, 24/04/19
- Real Madrid – 30/09/18, 28/10/18, 02/12/18, 22/12/18, 10/02/19, 03/03/19, 03/04/19, 05/05/19,
- Valencia – 20/08/18, 23/09/18, 07/10/18, 02/12/18, 27/01/19, 03/02/19, 03/04/19, 24/04/19,
- Villarreal – 23/09/18, 21/10/18, 02/12/18, 22/12/18, 27/01/19, 24/02/19, 03/04/19, 05/05/19,
Introducing the New La Liga Clubs
At the end of 2017/18 we said goodbye to three clubs and welcomed three newbies. Relegated to the lower league were Deportivo La Coruna, Las Palmas and Malaga. All of which really struggled to pass the 5 wins mark throughout the season. However, this meant that we could allow the likes of Huesca, Rayo Vallecano and Valladolid to be promoted into the top-flight league.
Huesca came second in the Segunda Division last season, however when looking at the score sheet they were very close to the level of first place winners – Rayo Vallecano. With a matching 21 wins, Huesca only secured 61 goals for whereas the top team gained 67. Although, reviewing it further, it appears that the goals against the team were much higher for the winners than that of Huesca. Which makes them really close competition stepping into the top-flight tournament, considering that they have never actually moved up this far within the Spanish Soccer leagues before. So, it will be interesting to see how they perform this season.
Awarded Champion status at the end of 2017/18, it was a very close call between Rayo Vallecano and second place winners Huesca. With only 1 point separating them it could have really gone either way. However, Rayo Vallecano came through and secured themselves a promotion to the La Liga. After two seasons in the lower league, they have most certainly worked hard as a team to receive this step-up.
Securing a win in the play-offs, Valladolid is the third and final team to be promoted from Segunda to Primera. The last time they played in the top league was in fact 2013/14 and since then they have worked hard to maintain a high position in the lower league in order to be awarded a promotion. In the play-offs Valladolid scored 5 overall goals in the semi-final against Sporting Gijon and then a further 4 goals against Numanica in the final.
Major Changes Affect Real Madrid
Before the new season has even begun the previous third placed team of 2017/18, Real Madrid, have received news of player and managerial changes. Long term manager Zinedene Zidane ended his time with Real Madrid late May after spending a total of 2 years working with the team. And prior to this, Zidane actually played for the club up until 2006. Seeing Real Madrid through achievements such as La Liga Champions in 16/17 and UEFA Champions League winners in 16/17 and 17/18.
Along with this change, it has recently come to light that Cristiano Ronaldo had now signed a new contract with the Italian club – Juventus. Reportedly bagging the forward for an estimated £99.2m for 4 years, Ronaldo will surely be missed by his La Liga team-mates. From his first season with the club until his last, Ronaldo has netted around 450 goals for Real Madrid across 9 tournaments. As well as this, he has contributed to the four Champions League titles and the La Liga win back in 16/17 thanks to his impressive total of 25 goals out of 29 appearances.
How Do You Think This Season Will Go?
Above we have explored a wide range of areas about the new La Liga season. And now it is your turn to get in touch and give us your opinions on all of this latest news. Are you concerned for the future of Real Madrid after their manager and key player have left? How do you think the new clubs will cope against the ‘big league’ teams like Barcelona? Let us know over on our social media channels!
Get ready in style for the impending tournament by purchasing the latest jerseys and accessories for your beloved team here at Soccer Box. Pledge your allegiance to the current champions by donning the Barcelona soccer shirt and matching apparel from our website. You can also have a look in the La Liga category to discover our vast selection of sportswear across all Spanish and worldwide football teams!
This article was written exclusively for Soccer Box by Loren Astbury.