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Champions Real Madrid kick off La Liga title defence at Real Sociedad

Real play at Sociedad one week after the scheduled kick off of the new campaign because teams that participated in the last stages of the Champions League and Europa League have been given additional time off.

FILE: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema (centre) celebrates a goal with his teammates. Picture: @realmadriden/Twitter

MADRID - Spanish champions Real Madrid begin the defence of their La Liga title away at Real Sociedad on 20 September and play Barcelona in the season’s first Classico just over one month later, Monday’s draw for this season’s fixtures revealed.

Real play at Sociedad one week after the scheduled kick off of the new campaign because teams that participated in the last stages of the Champions League and Europa League have been given additional time off.

The new La Liga season kicks off on 11 September but Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla do not begin their fixtures until a fortnight later.

Atletico host Granada, Barcelona’s first game under new coach Ronald Koeman will be at home to Villarreal while Europa League winners Sevilla travel to newly-promoted Cadiz.

Real Madrid and Barca will play each other at Camp Nou on 25 October with the return game in Madrid in April.

The champions’ derby with Atletico is set for 12 December at the Santiago Bernabeu and 7 March at the Wanda Metropolitano.

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