The 2018/19 La Liga season kicked off yesterday. Today’s matches feature Celta de Vigo at home to Espanyol and Villarreal hosting Real Sociedad, before the late kick-off sees champions Barcelona begin the defence of their title at the Camp Nou against Deportivo Alves.
Barca, who finished the 2017/18 season at the head of the Spanish top flight with a haul of 93 points (14 clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid), start the new campaign as the favourites to claim a 26th Liga title.
Coach Ernesto Valverde can call on much the same team that won the championship last term, with Andres Iniesta and Paulinho the only notable departures, while they have added strength in depth with the signings of Malcom, Clement Lenglet, Arturo Vidal and Arthur. Yet the incomparable Lionel Messi remains their key man.