Saturday, December 9, 2023

LaLiga kicks off its most atypical season

Even with the suffocating summer heat, LaLiga Santander resumes action from this Friday in an extraordinary season, which places the 2022 Qatar World Cup in the middle of everything, the competition, the planning and the footballers, within a marathon launched in the first day for Osasuna-Seville, that opens a course of resistance; the Barcelona-Raythe Almeria-Real Madrid or the Getafe-Atletico Madrid.

It all starts this Friday the sadar, the first of the 380 games that will decide who wins or who fails, with no middle ground, this season, invariably conditioned, from any perspective, by the new dates of the World Cup, which will stop the competition between November 10 and December 28 , between the fourteenth and the fifteenth day, but, above all, it will mark it until then.

The tournament increases the challenge for the current champion, Real Madrid, also winner of the Champions League and on Wednesday of the European Super Cup, just as Barcelona has been reinforced, with Robert Lewandowski, Jules Koundé, Raphinha, or Franck Kessieor as Atlético de Madrid’s bet has been, with the entire block from last season reinforced by Álvaro Morata, Saúl Ñíguez, Axel Witsel and Nahuel Molina to debate the dominance of Carlo Ancelotti’s team and the hegemony imposed by the fantastic Karim Benzema or the imposing Thibaut Courtois.

With them, Sevilla aspires to compete, which enters the game first of all, along with Osasuna. The team of Julen Lopeteguiinfallible in his Champions League classification for the last three years, has lost Koundé and Diego Carlos, keys to his scheme, but has answered with Marcao, Alex Telles and Isco Alarconthe most striking signing, willing to reconnect with his most undeniable football, after his decline at Real Madrid, again under the orders of the coach who revealed his best version when he led him in the national team.

His irregularity in the preseason, visible with the two defeats he suffered in England (above all, the 6-0 he conceded against Arsenal), raises doubts in his visit to El Sadar, where Osasuna awaits, pending the leap he must give to his game a footballer like Moi Gomez, signed to Villarreal, or the continuity of Moncayola, David García, Budimir or Manu Sánchezon loan for the third year in a row from Atlético de Madrid.

The greats, against the modest

Real Madrid is the rival to beat. There is no doubt after the strength with which the last League was awarded. Not even less when the name of Karim Benzema. Nobody was as definitive as him last season. Not even Courtois or Vinicius. Champions of the European Super Cup this Wednesday, the white team comes into play in the League in which they defend their reign this Sunday against Almeriawhich returns to the highest category.

The presentation of Antonio Rudiger or Tchouameni in the championship; the only two signings of a block made, in which Ancelotti is still waiting for Eden Hazard, unrecognizable in his first two years in the Santiago Bernabeu, From which footballers with little participation in the last League have left, such as Isco, Bale, Jovic… It is the same Real Madrid champion of a few months ago, but even more armed in its defense and in its midfield.

Barcelona has been further strengthened, which is staged this Saturday against Vallecano Ray after his brilliant preseason, with the focus on Lewandowski. The Polish striker, from Bayern Munich, personifies the change in the Barça club, which has all the good things that Xavi Hernández had last year plus a striker of his potential, the overflow of Raphinha, the strength of Koundé… A great template.

also has it Diego Simeon at his command at Atlético de Madrid. His eleventh project, which has signed an impeccable preseason (four wins, thirteen goals for and only one against, with a 0-4, for example, against Juventus last Sunday), examines both his players and him, forced to compete for more -or at least for more time- than they did last year, when they were third in LaLiga. He has never stepped off the podium at the end of a championship in any of Simeone’s entire campaigns.

And he was champion twice. Specifically, they have been the only team capable of beating Barcelona and Real Madrid in the league in the last 18 years. He also insists on this in this exercise, with the touch-ups in his squad by Álvaro Morata -he aims to start on the first day after scoring four goals in the last two duels-, Saúl Ñíguez, Axel Witsel and Nahuel Molina and with the first test in Getafewhere they wait Quique Flores and an interesting team, reinforced with men like Portu, Milla or Borja Mayoral to avoid suffering.

Tight fight for Europe

Those are the three commitments of the most favorite of all to win the League, to which the Seville and those that Betis aspires to reach, who already competed with them in the heights of the classification last season, until they fell in the final stretch. want more Manuel Pellegrini, which supports almost its entire base, including Willian José, and has signed Luiz Henrique and Luiz Felipe. He also follows Joaquín, who has just turned 41. The Betis receives on monday elche.

The Real society, still without Mikel Oyarzabal and with the signings of Kubo and Brais Méndes, among others, visit the Cadiz, reunited with the Nuevo Mirandilla stadium after the 1-4 blow with which Atlético de Madrid overwhelmed it in the Carranza Trophy. The appointment is Sunday at 5:30 p.m. It’s the first of the day. There will be no games earlier due to the high temperatures.

The team from San Sebastian is a contender for Europe, even the Champions League, like the Villarreal, again under the orders of Unai Emery. Morales, Pepe Reina and Kiko Femenía are the novelties of the yellow team, which awaits Lo Celso and visits the promoted team on Saturday Royal Valladolidback to the highest category.

Also returns the Gironawho visits Mestalla on Sunday to measure himself against the new Valencia de Gattuso, now without Gonçalo Guedes, waiting for Nico González and with Carlos Soler and José Luis Gayá in their ranks. They haven’t gone.

At the same time, Ernesto Valverde is relaunched with the athletic club. His return raises expectations again, even though he hasn’t signed anyone. The Bilbao team receives on Monday in San Mamés the Majorca of the Mexican Javier Aguirre, saved at the last minute last year. Before they achieved permanence both the Celticwhich continues with Eduardo Coudet’s project, as the Spanish, with Raúl de Tomás still in the attack and with Diego Martínez in command. Both are measured in Balaídos, where the day opens on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

First working day

– Friday, August 12:

9:00 p.m.: Osasuna – Seville

– Saturday August 13:

5:00 p.m.: Celtic-Spanish

7:00 p.m.: Valladolid-Villarreal

9:00 p.m.: Barcelona-Ray Vallecano

– Sunday, August 14:

5:30 p.m.: Cadiz-Real Sociedad

7:30 p.m.: Valencia-Girona

10:00 p.m.: Almeria-Real Madrid

– Monday, August 15:

5:30 p.m.: Athletic Club-Majorca

7:30 p.m.: Getafe-Atletico Madrid

9:30 p.m.: Betis-Elche.


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