Forza Futbol

A Better Lens at Spanish Football

Saturday, Dec 17

Sporting v Espanyol  18.00 CET, 12pm EST, 9am PST GOLTV USA

Mallorca v Getafe   18.00 CET, 12pm EST, 9am PST  DIRECTV SPORTS

Athletic Club v Zaragoza  20.00 CET, 2pm EST, 11am PST   ESPN DEPORTES, espn3.com

Sevilla v Real Madrid  22.00 CET, 4pm EST, 1pm PST  GOLTV USA

 

Sunday, Dec 18

Atletico Madrid v Betis  12pm CET, 6am EST, 3am PST

Granada v Levante   16.00 CET, 10am EST, 7am PST  DIRECTV SPORTS

Osasuna v Villarreal   18.00 CET, 12pm EST, 9am PST  DIRECTV SPORTS

Racing v Real Sociedad  19.45 CET, 1:45pm EST, 10:45am PST  ESPN DEPORTES, espn3.com

Valencia v Malaga   21.30 CET, 3:30pm EST, 12:30pm PST  GOLTV USA

The match calendar is already here and there are some really interesting matches to start the season

In the first matchday we have the following encounters:

Osasuna vs. Valencia: The Navarre side is always a hard contender at el Reyno de Navarra but I think Valencia will prove to be much stronger than them, specially if Mata and Soldado stay at the club, Osasuna had a huge blow at losing Monreal to Málaga.

Levante vs. Zaragoza: Levante had an amazing end of the season, saved themselves from going to la Liga Adelante thanks to a good collective work (though they lost Kiko Femenía to Barça) and Caicedo’s goals, in paper they are stronger than the maños
(who lost their two best players: Ander Herrera to Athletic and Gabi to Atlético de Madrid), so I think the Valencian side might win but this will be a close match.

Real Madrid vs. Athletic Club: Hands down the best match of the first day. Mou is getting into his second season and the team is becoming stronger, more tactically organized and disciplined, Cristiano, Higuain, DiMaria, Xabi and Ozil will give a hard time to the Basque defense; Athletic has a young team with lots of upcoming stars like Javi Martínez, Ander Herrera and Iker Muniain, a very good CB (Ekiza), an excellent RB (Iraola) and the always dangerous Fernando Llorente, they aren’t a pushover team and if RM doesn’t go out guns blazing, this can be a very tough game for them, since it is in Madrid, I fully expect RM to win but it will be close, specially if Athletic plays at their best.

Rayo Vallecano – Mallorca: the newly ascended Madrid team vs the islanders, Rayo is known to fight every match to the end and I don’t think they will lose in their Liga debut, Mallorca usually need some matchplay to get their game down but will do their best not to lose either.

Espanyol vs. Granada: The Barcelona side got a huge blow by being unable to qualify to the UEFA Europa League in the last match but their performance in the first part of La Liga last year was excellent, so I think they will start strongly this time as well, the Andaluz team is still feeling the euphoria of getting to the First Division, their inexperience will cost them the match at Cornellá-El Prat.

Betis vs. Sevilla: The Andaluz Clásico of All Times, that day no one will be out in the Sevilla streets, been a while since we saw this. Sevilla has a very strong team with the likes of Javi Varas, Cáceres, Negredo, Navas and the newly bought Manu del Moral, I believe they will prove to be too much for Betis.

Málaga vs. Barcelona: The Spanish version of Manchester City vs the Best Team in the World, I remember Hércules upsetting BCN last year at the early stages of La Liga but I don’t think Málaga would be up for that task since they aren’t a cohesive team, everyone seems to be a new player and they need time to adjust, Barcelona won’t give them that luxury, so La Rosaleda will start with a catalan victory or a draw if Pep’s team is too rusty.

Villarreal vs. Sporting Gijón: The Asturian side got one of the worst possible opponents in here, even if Cazorla, Valero and Rossi leave during this transfer season, Gijón is a combative team but I don’t think they will have an answer to such a compact team as Villarreal, who can give any team a hard time if they are on their best day.

Real Sociedad vs. Atlético de Madrid: The Lower Madrid-Euskadi Clásico, Atlético has gotten great players like Gabi and Adrián but has lost some of the guys who got the Europa League title (De Gea, Ujfalusi, Tiago, Forlán and Kun in the fence…); Real Sociedad is keeping pretty much the same tactics they had last year, like Athletic, they don’t have a policy of buying too much people if they have a decent squad, Anoeta is a powerful field and might give the Basque an advantage but I believe that Atlético is a better team overall and will get the victory if Real doesn’t give their best effort.

Racing vs. Getafe: This is one of those matches where you wouldn’t bet because it is really hard to predict the odds and unless the sheik owners of the Madrid side buy everyone on sight, this is probably going to be one of those hard fought matches where both teams are at each other’s throats during 90 minutes.

What matches are you guys looking forward to?
Arkulari On July - 7 - 2011

Categories

2011-2012 season, La Liga

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6 Responses so far.

  1. Dami says:

    What a lineup! I'm just afraid ESPN is going to spit on all of our faces and leave us stuck watching Real – Athletic online while they air some body-building or cheerleading competition. I always love watching Real – Athletic. And Betis – Sevilla, Malaga – Barca, and even Sociedad – Atletico are tasty matchups as well.

  2. @arkulari says:

    I think the biggest question mark would be Málaga's level with so many new people, if they are integrated they can give Barcelona a hard time but I believe it will take sometime for them to get at their best level.

  3. Malaga Barca first round will be big game, cant wait until it starts!

  4. Roberto says:

    Shows how much plastic football fans have taken over with the talk of Barcelona and Madrid. The only important game of the first day is the Seville derby-real football clubs

  5. Soul_ege says:

    hala madrid

  6. Sanzida Surma10 says:

    I love barca.
    Messi is brillant.

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