La Liga returns this weekend with Barcelona looking to make a strong start against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday as Xavi aims to wrestle the title off Clasico rivals Real Madrid this season (8pm kick-off, UK time).
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Where to watch Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN Deportes
Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano betting tips from Squawka Bet
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It’s been a summer of excessive spending for the Blaugrana, who have overhauled their squad with several new signings, including Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Franck Kessie. A strong pre-season would indicate the new recruits have settled in seamlessly to their new environment, but top-flight European football is a different kettle of fish, and Rayo Vallecano proved an awkward opponent last term as they completed a collector’s item double over them.
Barcelona team news
It was looking increasingly unlikely that Barca’s new summer signings would be able to play this weekend after La Liga blocked their efforts earlier this week to register them, as they still fell outside the league’s financial fair play rules. That has since changed with Robert Lewandowski, Franck Kessie, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen all registering in time, though Jules Kounde was unable make the deadline.
Rayo Vallecano team news
Rayo Vallecano head coach Andoni Iraola made several key signings this summer, including Unai Lopez, former Newcastle defender Florian Lejeune and Sergio Camello on loan from Atletico Madrid. Veteran shot-stopper Diego Lopez has also come in on a free transfer, while Radamel Falcao is expected to lead the line after starting at Old Trafford in the club’s pre-season draw against Manchester United.
Scoreline prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano
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