The Spanish champs open up at Racing Santander on Aug. 28th. Also on that day it will be runner-up Real Madrid being as slight favorite in offshore betting at Mallorca.
Online bookmaker odds favor Barcelona to repeat as champs. Barcelona has won the title the last two years with Madrid finishing in second. The two teams meet on November 28th when Barcelona hosts Madrid and play the return match on April 17th. This year Madrid will have a new head coach in Jose Mourinho. The matches between the two teams could decide the La Liga title and the one on April 17th will be huge since only a month will remain in the season when that game is played.
The preseason for Barcelona begins in late July when they travel to Oslo to place Norwegian side Valerenga in a friendly. Barcelona will then have two more exhibition matches in Asia. Barcelona will look a little different this season without Thierry Henry and Yaya Toure but the addition of David Villa more than makes up for the loss of those two players. The loss of Toure does hurt but Barcelona is loaded with talent. The team is still unsure of the status of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafa Marquez and it seems likely that Marquez will leave. Barcelona would like to add Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas but they may not be able to get him away from the Premier League team.
Valencia finished third last season and they will open up at Malaga while Sevilla who was fourth last season starts the season at Levante. La Liga will have three new teams in the 20-team division this season. They are Hercules, Real Sociedad and Levante. Hercules and will host Athletic Bilbao while Real Sociedad is home to Villarreal. Europa League champs Atletico Madrid play host to Sporting Gijon in their opener. Also on the opening slate of games it will be Espanyol at home to Getafe, Deportivo La Coruna hosting Zaragoza while Almeria is at Osasuna.
The La Liga season is just over a month away and offshore betting odds will be on the board for another exciting season of soccer action.