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Barcelona’s La Liga fixture schedule promises fun and games again

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The champions have a tough start and finish

FC Barcelona v Levante UD - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

With the disappointment of the 2018/19 campaign firmly in the past now - though some may still be dwelling on it - the release of the fixtures for the 2019/20 season has given us all something to chew on over the next few weeks.

The draw hasn’t exactly been kind in places, handing Barca a tough opener away at Athletic Club.

Though we’ve not lost at the San Mames in the last five visits, the Basques will be well up for causing an opening day shock and Barca have, on occasions, been slow starters in La Liga.

The first home game of the season isn’t any easier either, with former Espanyol coach, Rubi, bringing his Real Betis side to the Camp Nou in the hope of repeating their heroics of last season.

The Verdiblancos have proven over the last couple of campaigns that there’s no fear when playing against the bigger teams in the division, and in all likelihood, they’ll be another tough nut to crack so soon into 2019/20.

A reasonable September gives way to an October which sees us at home to Sevilla and Real Madrid, the first Clasico of the season coming on the exact same weekend as last season.

Not forgetting that we’ll have the usual Champions League and international games peppering that stage of the campaign, arguably when the senior players should be getting some rest.

January also presents a conundrum given the Spanish Football Federation’s wonderful scheduling of the Spanish Super Cup.

The new format, which includes a semi-final against either Valencia, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid, will see games played on January 8 and 12, the first game coming directly after a Catalan derby away at Espanyol.

Though the Super Cup, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t necessarily the highest priority, it’s still a trophy to be won, and it should be treated as such.

A date at Mestalla closes the month, and with February being our kryptonite in general terms, three home games against Levante, Getafe and Eibar are a welcome relief - with respect.

March opens with the Bernabeu Clasico, and with the Champions League having returned, Ernesto Valverde will have to balance those fixtures against winnable La Liga challenges.

April looks deadly at this point. If Barca aren’t at it, then that’s the month where there’s propensity for everything to fall to pieces again.

European dreams may still be alive, but trips to Sevilla and Celta will be demanding, not to mention a home game against Atletico Madrid to see out the month. Athletic are the other fixture in April.

To finish, Barca have five fixtures in 21 days in May - say what?!

Get through those unscathed and, trust me, we’ll have more than deserved the title if we’re still in the shake up by then.