Friday marks the start of the new season for clubs across Europe, and there are games scheduled in La Liga, including Sevilla’s match against Valencia at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Friday’s clash is an exciting one for the neutral, as two of Spain’s biggest teams go head-to-head on matchday one.
Neither side enjoyed themselves last season domestically, with Sevilla finishing 12th in the table, four places and seven points ahead of Valencia.
Sevilla did manage to secure a spot in the Champions League group stages after winning the Europa League, and they will hope to start on the front foot on Friday evening.
It was not too long ago that both Sevilla and Valencia were competing for European places in La Liga, but that is a thing of the past if last season is anything to go by.
Neither side could put a good run of form together in the league and Sevilla finished 22 points behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad.
Villarreal, Real Betis and Osasuna also secured European football, but Sevilla boss Jose Luis Mendilibar has added some fresh faces to his squad.
Centre-back Loic Bade has joined permanently from Rennes and midfielder Djibril Sow has arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt to strengthen the squad.
Mendilibar needs to get his team firing in front of goal after a below-par campaign last term, but even if they are not at their best, they should have too much for Los Ches.
While Valencia added Cenk Ozkacar and Pepelu to their ranks, they have lost the creativity of Yunus Musah in midfield, with the 20-year-old joining AC Milan.
Experienced forward Edinson Cavani has also moved on, and Valencia are likely to struggle once again this season. They lost 18 of their 38 league games last term, and they will face a side that has got the better of them over the years.
Sevilla are unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions against Valencia, and they can extend that by winning Friday’s opening fixture.
Neither side ended last season on a high, with Sevilla failing to win any of their final four league games, while Valencia were winless in three. Valencia avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth, while it could be argued that Sevilla were focusing their attention on their Europa League campaign.
Valencia’s chances are not helped by the absence of Marcos de Sousa, who is still recovering from a long-term knee injury.
Both teams are likely to enjoy better campaigns than last season, but the smart play is backing Valencia.
Los Ches are unbeaten against Valencia in La Liga since March 2019, and having home advantage should be enough to get them over the line.