This weekend marks the start of the new Spanish La Liga season, which includes a Saturday evening clash between Deportivo Alaves and Real Madrid at the Estadio de Mendizorroza. Deportivo Alaves just about survived in La Liga last season, finishing two league places and four points above the relegation zone, and they'll be hoping for a better showing this time around and avoiding any last-minute dramas.
Realistically, Alaves will be looking to take points away from the teams around them in the division, while the upcoming match against Real Madrid poses a threat to their opening day hopes, especially given that their last meeting with their visitors at home ended in a heavy 4-1 defeat back in January.
Alaves finished the season on a high note at home, winning three of their last four games, but these victories came against Huesca, Villarreal, and Granada, all of whom are of inferior quality to Real Madrid. Real Madrid narrowly missed out on the La Liga title race at the end of last season, being pipped at the post by eventual winners and crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid by two points, so the visitors will be looking to go one better this season.
Nonetheless, Real Madrid had a solid season, with only one defeat on the road during the entire season, while the visitors finished the previous season with a strong run of results.
Real Madrid were unbeaten in their last 18 La Liga matches, including 13 wins, while the visitors were also unbeaten in their last 14 games, including nine wins.
Real Madrid have also won seven of their last nine away games, and with their recent dominance over Deportivo Alaves, the visitors appear to be in good shape to begin their new La Liga campaign with a win. Carlo Ancelotti, manager of Real Madrid, has a number of dangerous attacking options at his disposal, including prolific striker Karim Benzema (23 goals last season). Furthermore, Real Madrid has won four of the last five meetings between the two clubs and appears to be on track for more success here.
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