The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (the Spanish FA) released the full schedule for the 2010-11 La Liga season, and Jornada 1 will be held on the last weekend of August. Both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will commence their campaigns away from home as they visit Mallorca and Racing de Santander respectively. Real Sociedad, the Basque football entity that spent the last two years in the Segunda División after establishing themselves in the Primera División for the previous forty seasons, will make their triumphant return to the top level of the Spanish pyramid against Villarreal. The last match of the first round of fixtures will be held that Monday night as Atlético Madrid hosts Sporting de Gijón at the Estadio Vicente Calderón.
Here are the full schedule of the opening round of the La Liga season on August 28-30:
Mallorca – Real Madrid
Hércules – Athletic Bilbao
Racing de Santander – FC Barcelona
Málaga – Valencia
Deportivo La Coruña – Real Zaragoza
Levante – Sevilla
Espanyol – Getafe
Real Sociedad – Villarreal
Osasuna – Almería
Atlético Madrid – Sporting Gijón
El Clásico matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona will be held on the November 27 weekend (Jornada 13) at the Camp Nou and the April 16 weekend (Jornada 32) at the Santiago Bernabéu, where José Mourinho will reacquaint himself with Pep Guardiola after Mourinho’s Inter Milan eliminated Barcelona in last season’s UEFA Champions League.
Other derbies of note include the Basque derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao in Rounds 14 and 33, the Valencian derby between Valencia and Villarreal in Rounds 12 and 31, el derbi Barceloní between Espanyol and Barcelona in Rounds 16 and 35, and el Derbi madrileño between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in Rounds 10 and 29.
If the races for the title, Champions League places, Europa League places, and relegation come down to the final day, as it has for the past few seasons, here are the final round of fixtures:
Real Madrid – Almería
Osasuna – Villarreal
Real Sociedad – Getafe
Espanyol – Sevilla
Levante – Real Zaragoza
Deportivo La Coruña – Valencia
Málaga – Barcelona
Racing de Santander – Athletic Bilbao
Hércules – Sporting Gijón
Mallorca – Atlético Madrid
For the rest of the schedule, refer to the RFEF website here. La Liga will continue with one Monday match every round, and a Friday fixture may be included by the start of the season. While Real Madrid and Barcelona will likely lead the way as per usual, the revamped Valencia lineup, the continued solidity of Sevilla, and the always dangerous Villarreal will challenge the duopoly all season, and Hércules and Real Sociedad will surprise many as they return to La Liga.