The weekend will see some exciting matches including the debut of the new Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in league. The first two matches of weekend pits newly promoted Hercules against reigning champions Barcelona at the Camp Nou while the other match will see Racing visit the new look Valencia at the Mestalla.
Hercules have been making some noises in the transfer window this season bringing in some big names and some really great talent, such as, David Trezeguet from Juventus, Nelson Haedo Valdez from Borussia Dortmund and Royston Drenthe on loan from Real Madrid. Regardless of such talent they will still have a Herculean task at the Camp Nou. Barcelona’s squad list includes new signing Javier Mascherano who may get his league debut against the Alicante based side and defender Carles Puyol have been given the green light to suit up for the game also, while young Jeffren will miss the game due to injury.
Racing will be looking to get their season back on the right track after losing to Barcelona 3-0 in the opener at home but they will face a Valencia side that is on a high after their impressive 3-1, away victory against Malaga and if that is not enough, Racing will be on the road at a tough Mestalla. The new look Valencia, without Villa and Silva, will have the services of Stankevicius who’s signature they secured on loan from Sampdoria and of new front men Artiz Aduriz (who was brought over from Mallorca) and Roberto Soldado, bought from Getafe. The new “man” at the Mestalla, Mata, should be in the starting line-up and may be playing as an attacking midfielder rather than down the left wing. Joaquin should be back in the starting line-up after his impressive start to the new season, socring 2 goals at Malaga.
The match that follows both opening matches of the weekend will see, two teams that began their campaign with a 0-0 draw, the new Real Madrid, led by the Special One, at the Bernabeu against Jose Camacho’s Osasuna. The Pamplona side will be looking to defend well against Los Blancos and hit them on the counter-attack with the strength of their fowards Walter “El rifle” Pandiani, former Real Madrid youth product Carlos Aranda and the pace and skill of another Real Madrid youth product Juanfran. Los Merengues will be eager to get back to winning ways after their lackluster start to the season against Mallorca which saw them draw 0-0 with the Islanders but will be ardent to get their home debut off to a winning start and secure a positive result prior to their Champion’s League match up against Ajax in the Bernabeu. The match will see the return of Pepe after being sidelined with an injury from a pre-season match against the La Galaxy and also the return of Cristiano Ronaldo who had picked up an ankle injury against Mallorca in the season opener.
The final match on Saturday will see the European Super Cup winners Atletico de Madrid visit the Lion’s Den, San Mames, to play against Athletic de Bilbao. Both team got their season off to winning a start, which saw Bilbao beat Hercules on the road 1-0 with a goal from the other Fernando Torres (Llorente) and Atleti with a convincing 4-0 win against Sporting Gijon at the Vicente Calderon. It is unlikely that we will see any changes from either side’s line-up from match day 1.
Sunday will kick off with three matches, Getafe – Levante, Sporting Gijon – Mallorca and Real Zaragoza – Malaga.
Getafe will be back home at the Coliseum after a poor start to the campaign losing to Espanyol at Cornella El Pratt, 3-1. They will be hoping to get a win over new boys Levante who also lost to Sevilla 4-1 at home in the season opener. Both teams will be fighting to get their season back on the right track. While Sporting Gijon will be looking to get a favourable result at home against Mallorca and Real Zaragoza will be looking to get their first win of the season against Malaga at home who will also be hoping for a good result after their disastrous start at home against Valencia.
The final 3 matches of the weekend will see Villarreal at home against Espanyol, Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan against Deportivo La Coruna and Almeria back at home against the other new boys Real Sociedad.
Villarreal will be looking to get their home debut off to a winning start and put their poor start to the campaign behind them after that 1- 0 loss to Real Sociedad at the Anoeta, while Espanyol will be looking to keep their good start to the campaign going. Sevilla will be looking to continue their winning ways to the season against Deportivo La Coruna, who will be looking to pick up their first win of the season. Real Sociedad will be looking to add to the 3 points they picked up at the start of the season away to Almeria, while the Andalusians will be looking to pick up their first win after a bore draw against Osasuna on match day 1.
I suspect that the usual suspects, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla will come out victorious in their matches. While the key match up of the weekend will be Athletic de Bilbao against Atletico de Madrid which will be a tough one to call as both teams are equally very strong and the result could go either way. Villarreal needs a win to get their campaign back on the right track so I’m giving them my vote of confidence to pull out all the stops and beat Espanyol and I suspect Getafe will be strong enough to defeat Levante at home. While, the results could go either way in the Almeria – Sociedad encounter and I will bet on Mallorca coming out on top in their match against Gijon.
The weekend should be a good one and I will be reporting back with my review of match day 2 in La Liga and a look ahead to the big matches in the Champion’s League.