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Barca start campaign at home

La Liga champions Barcelona will begin their title defence at home to Levante, while their closest rivals and last year's runners-up, Real Madrid, will start their campaign by hosting Real Betis.

Last Updated: 09/07/13 at 13:36 Post Comment

Barcelona: Finished 15 points ahead of Real last season

Barcelona: Finished 15 points ahead of Real last season

Therefore Brazil striker Neymar will make his league debut for Barcelona in front of the club's home fans, while new Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will also begin his tenure on home turf.

In the new fixtures which were announced on Tuesday, it was revealed the first Clasico of the season will be held on the weekend of 27 October, with the Catalans hosting Madrid at the Camp Nou, while the return game at the Santiago Bernabeu will be held on the weekend of 23 March.

In the other matches on the opening weekend of the season, which begins on August 17, Sevilla host Copa del Rey holders Atletico Madrid, who finished third in the league last season, while Valencia play Malaga at home. Real Sociedad host Getafe, Valladolid take on Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna meet Granada.

Celta Vigo play Espanyol at home in a repeat of the final day of the season - where the Galicians secured survival in the top flight with a narrow win over the Catalans - while newly-promoted Elche travel to Rayo Vallecano, and Almeria host Villarreal, in a battle of the two other teams that won promotion from the Segunda Division A last season.

Opening day fixtures, to be played on weekend 17/18 August: Barcelona vs Levante, Real Madrid vs Real Betis, Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid, Valencia vs Malaga, Real Sociedad vs Getafe, Valladolid vs Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna vs Granada, Celta Vigo vs Espanyol, Rayo vs Elche, Almeria vs Villarreal.

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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