The La Liga schedule for the first day of the upcoming season has been released.
Reigning champions Barca face Real Betis at home on the opening weekend of the season on August 20-21 while last season’s runners-up Real Madrid are away to Real Sociedad in the first round of matches. Third placed team from last season Atletico Madrid will also have home advantage for their first game while the last of the Champions League placed teams, Villarreal will travel.
The first El Clasico will be played on either 3rd or 4th December 2016 at the Camp Nou, and the second one will be at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on the 22nd or 23rd of April, 2017.
The Madrid derby will be played on November 20 at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, with the return leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 9.
Arguably the first major derby will be when Sevilla face Real Betis on September 21, with the return on February 26.
It will be quite a while until the two Catalan sides meet, Barcelona not hosting Espanyol until December 18, with the return at the Estadio Cornella El Prat the third to last game of the season, on April 30.
The final round of games, pencilled in for May 21, will see Barcelona host Eibar and Real Madrid play at Malaga.
La Liga will take a three week break over the Christmas period, with no fixtures being player from Sunday December 18, until January 7, 2017.
Real Madrid were due to play Valencia on December 16, but owing to the former’s participation in the Club World Cup, there is a likelihood that this particular fixture will be rescheduled for around February time.There will also be four Wednesday fixtures during the season and these will fall on September 21, March 1, April 5 and 26.
Luis Enrique’s Barca are looking to claim a third straight LaLiga title, while reigning European champions Real are aiming to claim the trophy for the first time since 2011-12.
Here are the opening weekend fixtures:
Barcelona vs Real Betis
Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid vs Deportivo Alaves
Granada vs Villarreal
Valencia vs Las Palmas
Sporting Gijon vs Athletic Club
Malaga vs Osasuna
Sevilla vs Espanyol
Deportivo La Coruna vs Eibar
Celta de Vigo vs CD Leganes