Newly promoted side Celta Vigo start their La Liga campaign by playing host to Malaga, a team that have seen a real player exodus this summer.
The club from Galicia returned to the top flight after spending last five years in Segunda and no wonder that their main objective is to survive this season.
Surprisingly enough, the club management opted against big spending this summer as they decided to rely on the team that gained promotion from Segunda.
Featuring a number of talented home-grown players, Celta seem to have enough quality to fulfill their goals, but inexperience could prove to be a problem.
The Sky Blues have done pretty well in pre-season, beating Wigan in their final warm-up game and they are now 2.40 (7/5) with Stan James to kick-off the league campaign with a win.
Alex Lopez and Jonny have resumed training after recovering from injury, but Natxo Insa remains sidelined.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Varas – Hugo Mallo, Cabral, Samuel, Roberto Lago – Alex Lopez, Oubina – De Lucas, Bermejo, Augusto Fernandez – Iago Aspas.
Wealthy owners fulfilled their promise to take Malaga to the Champions League qualification, but they seem to have now abandoned the club, allowing a number of star players to leave La Rosaleda.
Santi Cazorla, Salomon Rondon, Joris Mathijsen and Apono all left, but the biggest problem is that the players who stayed are far from satisfied with the situation at the club, seeing they are owed a lot of money in wages and don’t really know what will happen to the club.
Considering the circumstances, Malaga have done pretty well in pre-season, having shared spoils with Olympiakos before beating Everton in their final warm-up games, but los Boquerones did have several disappointing results in July.
Boss Manuel Pellegrini has just 19 players at his disposal at the moment, with Eliseu and Baptista both missing out.
Winger Joaquin has suffered a freak injury in training as he collided with a fence, but he should, nonetheless, start the match against Celta. Malaga are 3.40 (12/5) with BetVictor to win this match.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Caballero – Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Monreal – Toulalan, Maresca – Joaquin, Isco, Portillo – Fernandez.