Real Madrid have all the advantages they need over 18 of the other teams in La Liga, yet they may face a depleted Almeria in their first fixture.
On Friday they managed to register goalkeeper Fuoli, Srdjan Babic and Brazilian wonderkid Kaiky. However they still have five players that remain unregistered.
Houboulang Mendes, Alejandro Pozo, Marko Milanovic, Fernando Pacheco and Leo Baptistao are all awaiting permission to play. It could leave Almeria short in two positions; both Mendes and Pozo are leaves them without a natural right-back currently, while the absence of Baptista and Milanovic would leave them short up front. Only 32-year-old Dyego Sousa stands out as a natural option to start up front. Star striker Umar Sadiq has so far been left out of preseason ahead of a potential big money move.
Carlo Ancelotti will no doubt remark that he would rather face the strongest team possible, but playing against a blunted force on the first day of the season may forgive any early season rust in their defence.