x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Spain's big two start new season with away games

Barca, champions in each of the last two seasons, will travel to Santander, while Jose Mourinho will make his competitive debut as Real coach in Mallorca.

Barcelona and Real Madrid will start their Primera Liga campaigns away from home, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) revealed yesterday as the 2010/11 fixture list was announced. Pep Guardiola's Barca, champions in each of the last two seasons, will travel to Racing Santander on the weekend of August 29, while Jose Mourinho will make his competitive debut as Real coach with a trip to Michael Laudrup's Real Mallorca.

Valencia, who finished third last term, and Sevilla, fourth, will also start on the road. Valencia visit Malaga, while Sevilla travel to newly promoted Levante. The other two promoted clubs, Hercules and Real Sociedad, are at home to Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal respectively. Meanwhile, Europa League champions Atletico Madrid host Sporting Gijon as they attempt to improve last season's disappointing ninth-place finish in La Liga.

In the remaining games, Espanyol are at home to Getafe, Deportivo La Coruna host Zaragoza and Osasuna welcome Almeria. A set of fixtures had been controversially leaked yesterday, spotted by a blogger after they were put on the RFEF website for 15 minutes. However, the RFEF revealed it was only carrying out tests and the official fixtures are indeed different to the ones spread across the web yesterday.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are set for an intriguing battle this season and will meet at the Camp Nou on November 28, with the return fixture to be played just a month before the end of the campaign, at the Bernabeu on April 17. * Agencies