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Barcelona can open up La Liga campaign with a win

Villarreal and Espanyol also worth a bet

Barcelona fans at the International Champions Cup
1 of 1

Eleven Sports 2 from 5.15pm Saturday

Celta Vigo v Espanyol 5.15pm
Celta Vigo played five and lost five in pre-season, Espanyol played six and won six, and that form can be carried over into La Liga.

Marc Roca, who scored in Espanyol’s sign-off 3-1 win at Monchengladbach, says optimism at El Prat is “at ten” as they seek to carry on from the end of last season when they took 13 points out of a last possible 15.

Recommendation
Espanyol draw no bet
1pt 9-4 Betfair

Key stat
Espanyol have won their last three away league matches.

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Villarreal v Real Sociedad 7.15pm
An untimely injury to Juanmi leaves La Real looking light in attack as they head for Villarreal.

New Sociedad boss Asier Garitano has had to deal with a number of injuries and departures and they could struggle early on. They may well come up short on the road anyway having won just one of their last 15 road trips.

Recommendation
Villarreal
2pts 21-20 bet365, Hills

Key stat
Real Sociedad have scored two goals in their last seven away league games.

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Barcelona v Alaves 9.15pm
Barcelona are up and running with wins over Sevilla and Boca Juniors for some summer silverware, and can start their campaign with a victory against Alaves.

They did the double over them last year although neither win was emphatic, and Alaves have the doggedness – they finished 15th yet with a better defensive record than high-flyers Seville, Betis or Villarreal – to keep things tight.

Recommendation
Barcelona to win by one goal
1pt 4-1 general

Key stat
Barcelona are unbeaten at home in the league in 36 matches.

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


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Real Sociedad have scored two goals in their last seven away league games
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