The wait between La Liga seasons has been less agonising ahead of the 2020-21 campaign kick-off on Friday when the 90th edition of Spain’s top competition gets underway.
There are plenty of storylines to watch in La Liga this season. Real Madrid’s defence of the title won’t begin in earnest until the second matchday due to their participation in the UEFA Champions League in August. Getafe will also give the first week a miss, while Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla—who recently reclaimed the UEFA Europa League crown—won’t start up until Week 3 following their own European involvements.
The Spanish soccer community has been reeling in the wake of the-Lionel Messi-transfer-that-almost-was this summer. Ronald Koeman will try to bridge the gap between Messi and a club he once loved to prevent Real Madrid winning back-to-back league crowns for the first time since 2008.
Koeman won four La Liga titles with Barcelona as a player (1991-94), and the Dutchman has left his role as Netherlands coach to take over at his old club after Quique Setien’s summer sacking. A delayed start to Barca’s campaign surely works in favor of his preparations.
Newcomers Huesca, Cadiz and Elche have each returned to La Liga following promotion from the Segunda Division. Cadiz are the only one of that trio featuring in Week 1 due to postponements, handing Alvaro Cervera’s men the chance to get an early head-start in the push for survival.
Matches will continue to be played behind closed doors during the 2020-21 term as things stand. Spain has recorded the fourth-highest coronavirus-related death total among European countries, and it remains in doubt as to whether supporters will be welcomed back this season at all.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) recently confirmed it will retain the ruling that allows teams five substitutions per match—up from three—after its application following the COVID-19 pandemic, via Ben Hayward of the Evening Standard. Clubs will also be allowed to name a squad of up to 23 players, rather than the standard 18.
New laws won’t change the fact La Liga is expected to bring some of the highest quality soccer on offer in 2020-21, and fuboTV will provide full coverage of what promises to be another scintillating Spanish season.