La Liga Matchday 2 preview: Barca’s first match at the Montjuic, intriguing Real Betis vs Atletico Madrid – Football Espana

Following a fun opening weekend of the new La Liga season, Matchday 2 is just around the corner and there are some very intriguing fixtures on the schedule. Both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will be in Andalusia for tough away games against Almeria and Real Betis respectively, while Barcelona will play the first official match at their temporary home of the Estadi Olimpic, when they take on Cadiz. 
The very first game of the round will take place on a sunny Friday evening in the Balearic Islands, when Mallorca meet Villarreal. This will be a homecoming for Sergi Darder, the skilful midfielder who was born on the island and who has just signed with Los Bermellones. Darder already provided an assist as Mallorca started the season with a draw at Las Palmas, and now he’ll look to make an impact when taking on Villarreal at the Estadi Mallorca Son Moix. 
The second fixture of Friday takes place in another Mediterranean city, as Valencia face Las Palmas. It was a perfect start for Ruben Baraja and his young squad as they achieved a win on opening weekend, and now Los Che will search for another three points against the newly promoted side.  
Three fixtures will be held on Saturday and the first is Real Sociedad vs Celta. Neither side was able to win on opening weekend, so Mikel Oyarzabal and Iago Aspas will lead their squads into this contest at the Reale Arena with maximum motivation.  
Later on Saturday evening, Real Madrid will aim to make it two wins from two when they travel to take on Almeria on the south coast. Curiously, Los Blancos will come up against their academy graduate Sergio Arribas, who just completed a transfer from the capital city side to Almería. Arribas and fellow new arrivals Dion Lopy, Edgar Gonzalez, Iddrisu Baba and Marc Pubill will give their all to try to stop a Real Madrid side that looked very impressive on opening weekend.  
A tasty duel between Osasuna and Athletic Club concludes Saturday’s action, and it’ll be a thrilling watch at El Sadar as last season’s seventh-placed and eighth-placed clubs go head to head. These two sides met four times in all competitions last season and Athletic Club were unable to win any of those contests, so the Basques will certainly be motivated as they make the short trip to Pamplona.  
There are three more fixtures on Sunday’s slate, starting with Girona vs Getafe. This promises to be a true clash of styles, with attack-minded Michel going up against defensive guru Jose Bordalas at the Estadi Montilivi.  
The second match of Sunday also takes place in Catalonia, as Barcelona have their first home match of the season. Los Blaugrana won’t be playing at the Spotify Camp Nou, though, as they have started an important redevelopment project at their stadium. As such, Barca will temporarily move to the Estadi Olimpic in the city’s beautiful Montjuic gardens for 2023/24, and their first game at this stadium is Sunday’s clash with Cadiz. It will be interesting to see if Barcelona can start off with a victory at this historic venue, which hosted the 1992 Olympic Games.  
On Sunday night, at 21:30 CEST, there is a huge match at the Estadio Benito Villamarín as Real Betis and Atletico Madrid face off. These are two of the best teams in Spanish football and both started 2023/24 with a victory, so will want to maintain their winning start. Atleti have had the upper hand in this fixture in recent years, with seven wins for Los Colchoneros and one draw in the past eight meetings, so Antoine Griezmann and co. will arrive with confidence.   
Monday night will then see two of this year’s newly promoted clubs enjoy a homecoming in La Liga. Deportivo Alaves will welcome former coach Jose Luis Mendilibar and his Sevilla team to Mendizorroza in the first of Monday’s two games, before Granada take on Rayo Vallecano at the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes. It was a thrilling 2-2 draw the last time these two sides met, complete with a stoppage time equaliser, so there could be another dramatic duel to round off Matchday 2 of this new La Liga season.
From La Liga. Watch LALIGA EA SPORTS live this weekend on Viaplay Sports. 


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