Real Madrid

Real Madrid round-up: La Real, referee, Cristiano, Bale, Atkinson

With the first game of the season away to Real Sociedad only hours away, that's where the focus is today: travel times, referee history, tributes and no Cristiano.
Valencia vs Real Madrid live online: LaLiga

Real Madrid round-up: La Real, referee, Cristiano, Bale, Atkinson
Juan Carlos Hidalgo EFE

With the first game of the season away to Real Sociedad only hours away, that's where the focus is today:

Whistle blower

The man from Alicante, Martínez Munuera, will be in the middle for Madrid's trip to the Anoeta. With him in charge in seven of Los Blancos previous matches their record has been good: won five, drawn one and lost one. La Real have won two, drawn two and lost three under his stewardship. 

Martínez Munuera explains to Carvajal who's boss.

Noticeable absence 

Today is the first game in seven years that Real Madrid will start a league campaign without Cristiano Ronaldo in the line-up. In those opening games that the Portuguese star has featured, he has totalled 11 goals and led his team to victory in each. After a positive showing in Euro 2016, Welshman Gareth Bale will be asked to take over the role of protagonist and fans will be hoping he can deliver in the same way. 

There'll be no leaning on Ronaldo in the opening fixture for Madrid.

Travel times

The match squad departed Barajas airport in the Spanish capital at 10:30 this morning for the short flight up to Fuenterrabía. They'll be staying in the San Sebastián Aranzazu hotel.

Favourites tag

As European Champions it is maybe unsurprising to see the bookmakers have Madrid as favourites to win the match, even if many predict it to be a tough game. You can see every euro you place on them to win increase to 1.75 euros but if you think Eusebio's men have it in them to cause a shock then a simple 10 euro bet would return nearly 50 euros. The draw is priced at 3.8.

Someone looking to upset the odds at the Anoeta.

Ninth minute tribute

Throughout minute 9 of the match fans will applaud in memory of the ex-Sociedad player Dalian Atkinson who was killed by police last Monday.