REAL MADRID

Real Madrid not pleased with biased LaLiga fixtures list

The club isn't happy with the kick-off times and days the team will have to recover. "What a coincidence!" they exclaim that Barça play their matches first.

The LaLiga fixtures timetable seems to have have followed a similar path to the uneven unwinding of lockdown measures here in Spain. In the back offices at Real Madrid, the powers that be aren't best pleased with how the schedule for the first four matchdays in the return of the competition has been mapped out. The main reason why Madrid aren't happy about the schedule is that they feel Barça have been given an advantage in the Week 28, 29, 30 and 31 timetable, seeing that in all four games ("Oh what a coincidence!" was the reaction in the club offices) that the azulgranas play their games before Zidane's team.

Original LaLiga running order has changed

Organisers have not respected the running order in which those games would have fallen originally, before football was put on hold for the coronavirus crisis - Real Madrid-Eibar was due to be played on Friday 13 March, so a home in would have allowed Zidane's side to put pressure on Barça, who were down to play Mallorca the following day at 18:30. Had that game been played in the original order, and Madrid had beaten Eibar at the Bernabéu, they would be a point ahead of Barcelona in the table, which would leave Setián's needing a win at Son Moix (Madrid have the better goal difference, if the two are tied on points). In the redesigned fixtures list though, Mallorca-Barça will be played on Saturday at 22:00 hours and Madrid-Eibar the next day,  Sunday at 19:30.

It's the same story for the following three matchdays. Barça always play 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours before Madrid - they travel to the Pizjuán on Friday 19th, while Madrid are at Anoeta on Sunday 21st.

There are other situations which could also indirectly benefit the azulgranas. For example, Barça-Leganés will be played on Tuesday, 16 June, at 22:00 hours; after that, Lega's next game is in Mallorca, with both teams engaged in the relegation battles, two points apart at the bottom of the table. But strangely, instead of putting that game on the Saturday, it's been programmed for Friday at 19:30 hours! So, not even 72 hours after playing at Camp Nou, in a match that will finish after midnight. "What will probably happen is that Leganés will field a weaker side against Barcelona and reserve their strongest XI for the more important battle with Mallorca," one of the voices at Real Madrid argued. The fixtures list, at least for the next four games, favours Barcelona, with the title in play and Madrid just two points behind…