La Liga new season fixtures announced

Barcelona will start their defence of their Spanish league title against Alaves on the opening day of the season, it has been confirmed.

Julen Lopetegui’s first La Liga match in charge of Real Madrid will come against Getafe, while potential title hopefuls Atletico Madrid take on Valencia in a potential thriller at the Mestalla.

Pablo Machin’s Sevilla begin their campaign with a trip to newly-promoted Rayo Vallecano, while city rivals Real Betis host Levante and Villarreal take on Real Sociedad.

Other newly-promoted sides Real Valladolid and Huesca travel to Girona and Eibar respectively, while Celta Vigo host Espanyol and Leganes travel to Athletic Club Bilbao.

Unlike previous league seasons, the Spanish league system will not be symmetrical this season – meaning that teams no longer play each other in the same order in the first and second half of the campaign.

Opening round of fixtures, 18-21 August 2018:

Athletic Club Bilbao v Leganes

Real Betis v Levante

Celta Vigo v Espanyol

Eibar v Huesca

Girona v Real Valladolid

Rayo Vallecano v Sevilla

Barcelona v Alaves

Valencia v Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid v Getafe

Villarreal v Real Sociedad