Matchday 1 in La Liga will see Real Madrid visit Deportivo Alaves on Saturday as they open up their domestic campaign. Los Blancos, after losing out on the league title last season to Atletico Madrid, hope to bounce back this season with the return of Carlo Ancelotti as manager. Deportivo Alaves, meanwhile, finished four points above relegation and are hoping to find some consistency in attack after averaging under a goal per game last season.
Here's how you can watch the match and what to know:
Here's are storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
Alaves: This could be a tricky season for Alaves as the financial issues brought on by the pandemic have resulted in the club not purchasing any new players through early August. They are hoping that Taichi Hara can be a valuable pickup after the Japanese striker arrived on a free transfer from -- get this -- the Croatia fifth division. At 22 years old, he's tall and promising in the air, but completely untested at this level. A former FC Tokyo talent, he actually scored 28 goals in 72 matches for their U-23 team. It is certainly a low-risk move, but can it actually be a high reward one? It will be intriguing to see if he can make a difference this season for a team needing home help in attack.
Real Madrid: Los Blancos are entering an intriguing time for the club with the renovation of the Santiago Bernabeu still taking place and some massive squad changes. Former Bayern Munich star defender David Alaba has arrived on a free transfer and some talents returned from loan moves such as Gareth Bale, Takefusa Kubo, Martin Odegaardand among others. But the biggest questions will be in the center of the defense with Raphael Varane, now at Manchester United and Sergio Ramos having joined Paris Saint-Germain. The thinking is that Eder Militao will start with David Alaba, and they'll have some massive shoes to fill. They are two of the more talented center backs in Europe, so they should do well, while having some cover in the form of Nacho. Keep an eye on the CBs in this one as we look to get a sense of just how much cohesion they have.
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How to watch and odds
- Date: Saturday, Aug. 14 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio de Mendizorroza
- TV: None
- Live stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Alaves +650, Draw +350, Real Madrid -225
Los Blancos begin the season on the right foot, picking up a narrow victory on the road. The centerback duo still shows they need some time to gel, but it was a somewhat promising start to the season with Eden Hazard giving glimpses of his best Chelsea years. Pick: Real Madrid 2, Deportivo Alaves 1