More fixture chaos as Real Madrid prepare for league debut in Spain

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Real Madrid
Real Madrid

La Liga on Wednesday announced two changes to the scheduled kickoff times of the second round of matches of the season to be played this weekend.

The game between Osasuna and Getafe, which had been due to open the weekend, was moved from Friday night to Saturday afternoon, while Betis’ home match against Valladolid was shifted from Monday night to Sunday evening as the result of an ongoing conflict between La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) over kickoff times.

Meanwhile the fixtures between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona, Sevilla and Elche, and Levante and Atletico Madrid have been postponed because of Barcelona, Sevilla, Atletico and Elche’s late finishes to last season and they will now be played in December.

The changes mean that the weekend will open with Villarreal at home to Eibar, with Villarreal looking to improve on an opening day’s performance that saw them held 1-1 at home by newly promoted Huesca.

Villarreal coach Unai Emery will be looking for more cohesion in attack and his side will be favorites against Eibar, whose first game of the season was a dull 0-0 draw with Celta Vigo.

Saturday’s next game is a rescheduled fixture, which sees Osasuna return to their remodeled El Sadar Stadium to face a Getafe side playing their first game of the season.

Getafe’s Matchday 1 fixture against Real Madrid was pushed back to a later date due to Real Madrid’s European commitments in the summer and Osasuna may feel that after beating Cadiz last week they have a competitive edge against Pepe Bordalas’ always tough-to-beat side.

Celta received good news on Wednesday when they completed a move to bring Jeison Murillo back to the club for another season. Murillo was vital as Oscar Garcia’s side escaped relegation last season and although the central defender won’t play against Valencia on Saturday, his arrival is a major boost for the club.

Valencia’s 4-2 win at home to Levante was a major boost for Javi Gracia’s side after a difficult summer and they will look to keep that positive feeling going even though Gracia continues to ask the board for new signings.

The big game on Sunday sees Real Madrid make their league debut away to Real Sociedad and it will be interesting to see how Zinedine Zidane’s side perform and whether Martin Odegaard, who returns after a successful season on loan in San Sebastian, plays a part in the game.

Real Madrid have only had one preparation game and although that saw them brush past Getafe, there have to be some doubts over match fitness. Meanwhile Eden Hazard is unlikely to play, while by the time the match kicks off both Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon will probably have joined Tottenham.

There is a duel between newly promoted sides as Huesca take on Cadiz, who need to recover from their opening day defeat, before Betis’ rescheduled game at home against Valladolid.

New Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini made his presence felt as his side defended much better than they did last season in their 1-0 win away to Alaves last week, while Valladolid were slightly unlucky to only draw 1-1 at home with Real Sociedad.

Finally, Granada have little recovery time following Thursday’s Europa League debut in Albania before looking for their second win of the campaign when Alaves visit the Los Carmenes Stadium.

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