Madrid face daunting title run-in

Real Madrid will face a daunting run-in as their final three away trips see them face Sevilla, Barcelona and Villarreal respectively.

Zinedine Zidane’s men won La Liga for the first time in five years last in May but if they are to retain their title they will have to negotiate an extremely tough final month.

Los Blancos will also host city neighbours and Celta Vigo – who won at the Bernabeu in last season’s Copa Del Rey – in the final weeks.

Starting the defence of their title at Deportivo La Coruna, Madrid’s first big test of the season is likely to come at Real Sociedad in matchday 4.

However, the first 11 weeks of the campaign appear fairly gentle for the champions, but they will face a Madrid derby at Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano stadium in matchday 12.

Their El Clasico clash at home to Barcelona scheduled for December 20 is likely to be moved forward as it comes in the same week as the Club World Cup, in which they will again participate.

The European champions will also be wary of a late January trip to Valencia – where they fell last season – and an April trip to Las Palmas, whom they failed to beat last season.