Another La Liga season is finally here. And the fans will be back in the stadiums for this one.

There will be a different feel to the new campaign that kicks off Friday. Perennial favorites Barcelona, which lost club icon Lionel Messi, and Real Madrid seem ripe for the taking after the off-field controversies of the offseason. And it leaves the rest of the field, especially defending champion Atletico Madrid, feeling like this is a season to capitalize on more potential upheaval at the top of the standings table.

Champs open in Vigo: Atletico Madrid is not this season’s favorite as far as sportsbooks’ futures are concerned, but last year’s winner only got stronger during the offseason and should be a candidate to repeat. It opens its 2021-2022 campaign on the road against a tough Celta Vigo side which is hoping to keep riding the wave of last year’s 8th-place finish.

WATCH: Every La Liga match on ESPN+

All eyes on Real Madrid, Barca: Real Madrid also starts away from home on Saturday against Deportivo Alaves (16th place last year), which showed it’s capable of the upset, winning in Madrid 2-1 last November. Barcelona have the trickier Week 1 match at home against Real Sociedad, a top 10 La Liga team in the last three seasons. It remains to be seen how supportive the Camp Nou home crowd will be, or whether the fans are quick to make known their frustrations with Barcelona’s management and the club’s higher-paid, unproductive stars. Either way, it should make for good TV (2 p.m. ET on ABC).

Valencia-Getafe kicks off season: The La Liga opener on Friday will take place at the Mestalla, where new Valencia manager Jose Bordalas faces his former team, Getafe, which he helped lead to La Liga promotion and three top 10 finishes. Six-time La Liga champion Valencia is hoping Bordalas (below) can help the club return to being a top 5 team and general pain for the favorites after last year’s mid-table finish.

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How to watch La Liga in USA

All 380 matches of the 2021-2022 La Liga season will be streamed in English and Spanish on ESPN+, kicking off the first of eight years of exclusive coverage in the USA. Select matches will also be aired on ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

  • Dates: Aug. 13, 2021 – May 22, 2022
  • Matches: Total of 380 league matches in 2021-2022
  • Streaming: ESPN+ (all matches in English & Spanish)
  • TV Channels: ABC, ESPN (select matches)
  • Spanish-language TV: ESPN Deportes (select matches)

La Liga Schedule – Week 1

Friday, Aug. 13

Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Valencia CF vs. Getafe  3 p.m.   ESPN+

Saturday, Aug. 14

Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
CA Osasuna vs. RCD Espanyol 11 a.m.   ESPN+
Cadiz CF vs. Levante UD 1:30 p.m.   ESPN+
RCD Mallorca vs. Real Betis 1:30 p.m.   ESPN+
Deportivo Alaves vs. Real Madrid 4 p.m.   ESPN+

Sunday, Aug. 15

Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Celta Vigo vs. Atletico Madrid 11:30 a.m.   ESPN+
Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad 2 p.m. ABC, ESPN Deportes ESPN+
Sevilla vs. Rayo Vallecano 4:15 p.m.   ESPN+

Monday, Aug. 16

Match Time (ET) TV channels Stream
Villarreal vs. Granada 2 p.m.   ESPN+
Elche vs. Athletic Bilbao 4 p.m.   ESPN+





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