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Robert Alexander 21st Aug 2014 - 14:31

La Liga Opta Facts 23-25 August

Malaga v Athletic Bilbao

  • Malaga have only won one of their last five league meetings with Athletic (D1 L3).
  • Los Boquerones have scored exactly once in each of their last five league clashes with the Basque side in La Rosaleda.
  • Malaga have only started two of their last nine La Liga campaigns with a win (D1 L6).
  • The Red-and-Whites have opened with a victory on the last two campaigns they have started away from home (2010/11 and 2013/14).
  • Ernesto Valverde has won six of his eight La Liga meetings with Malaga as a manager (L2).
  • The Lions have never started a league season against the current Malaga side, though they did twice start away from home against CD Malaga, drawing once and losing once.
  • The Basque sides are unbeaten in eight league meetings with teams from Andalusia (W6 D2).
  • Of all current Athletic players, Aduriz has scored more goals against Malaga than any other side (three).
  • Javi Gracia suffered his heaviest home defeat as a La Liga manager on his one previous home clash with Athletic (1-5).
  • Iker Muniain, who scored the winner in this fixture last term, enjoyed his best goalscoring season in 2013/14 (seven league goals).

Granada v Deportivo La Coruna

  • Granada are unbeaten in four La Liga meetings with Deportivo (W2 D2).
  • The Galician side have not won any of their last eight top-flight trips to Los Carmenes (D3 L5), failing to score in five of those visits.
  • Granada have only won their first game in one of their last five La Liga seasons, though that was last term against Osasuna (D2 L2).
  • When starting the season away from home, Deportivo have only lost one of their last seven inaugural Primera fixtures, winning three and drawing three.
  • Since leaving Deportivo, Joaquin Caparros has only won one of his nine meetings with the Galician side in the top-flight (D1 L7).
  • Deportivo have only managed one win from their last 11 La Liga meetings with Andalusian sides (D5 L5).
  • Only Elche (13) scored fewer home goals than Granada (18) in 2013/14.
  • Victor Fernandez only won one away game in his last season as a La Liga manager, a 1-0 win over Almeria in 2007/08 when in charge of Real Zaragoza.
  • Youssef El-Arabi became the first Granada player to reach double figures in a single season since promotion when he grabbed 12 league goals last term.

Sevilla v Valencia

  • Sevilla are unbeaten in 10 home league games against Valencia, winning seven and drawing three.
  • The Andalusian side have never beaten los Che on the opening day of a top-flight campaign (D1 L2).
  • Sevilla have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven La Liga openers.
  • Valencia have only lost their inaugural fixture in one of the last 13 seasons (W10 D2); in 2007/08 against Villarreal.
  • Over the last 10 seasons, only against Athletic (13) have Sevilla won more league games than they have against Valencia (12).
  • Kevin Gameiro is the only current Sevilla player to have scored for the Andalusian side against Valencia in La Liga.
  • Unai Emery has won 45.6% of his league games as Sevilla manager; he won 50.7% in charge of Valencia.
  • Sevilla eliminated Valencia from the semi-finals of last season's Europa League, winning the first leg 2-0 in the Sanchez Pizjuan.
  • Sevilla start this season 25 points behind Espanyol in the all-time La Liga table; the Catalan side are sixth on the all-time list.
  • Los Che have seen a man sent off in each of their last four league trips to Nervion.

Almeria v Espanyol

  • Almeria are unbeaten in three top-flight meetings with Espanyol (W2 D1); they have never gone four in a row.
  • Almeria have not won the opening fixture of any of their last three La Liga seasons (D2 L1).
  • Los Periquitos have not won any of their last five opening La Liga games when they have started the season away from home (D1 L4).
  • Only against Osasuna (five) have Almeria won more La Liga games than they have against Espanyol (four).
  • Los Pericos ended last season with a run of eight games without a win (D2 L6), their worst run in a single campaign since February 2009 (14).
  • Espanyol have started a La Liga season against a side from Almeria once before; they beat AD Almeria 5-2 in 1979.
  • The last time Almeria didn't receive a single yellow card in a home league game was against Espanyol in December 2013.
  • Fran Velez made his La Liga debut against Espanyol last season, scoring his first goal in the process.
  • Salva Sevilla scored the same number of goals last season as he had in his previous two La Liga campaigns (four), the most recent of which coming in the Juegos Mediterraneos in May.
  • Diego Colotto scored four league goals last season, becoming the first Espanyol defender to reach this mark since Dani Jarque in 2005/06.

Eibar v Real Sociedad

  • Eibar will become the 60th team to play in La Liga when they take to the field for this game.
  • Eibar hold the record for most consecutive seasons in the second tier of Spanish football (18, 89-06).
  • Real Sociedad are unbeaten in four Basque derbies in the top-flight (W3 D1).
  • Despite that, los txuri-urdins have only won one of their last 13 La Liga derbies away from the Anoeta (3-1 in February 2013 in the old San Mames).
  • Two sides from Guipuzcoa have not competed in the same La Liga season since 1931/32, when Real Sociedad and Real Union faced off.
  • Of the 35 occasions that Real Sociedad have opened a La Liga season away from home, only twice have they managed a victory (D9 L24).
  • Three of the last four meetings between these two sides in the second division ended level, with Sociedad winning the other 1-0 in 2007/08.
  • If they overcome Krasnodar, Jagoba Arrasate will become the first Spanish manager to lead Real Sociedad into a major European competition since Marco Antonio Boronat in 1989/90.
  • Only a meeting with Valencia (7) did Jaime make more saves than he did against Real Sociedad (6) last season.
  • During his time at Real Sociedad, Carlos Vela has contributed to 70 La Liga goals (40 goals, 28 assists). Only Lionel Messi (163), Cristiano Ronaldo (142) and Karim Benzema (76) can top this.

Barcelona v Elche

  • Elche have never won an away league game against Barcelona (D7 L13), conceding 3.8 goals per game over their last five visits.
  • Elche have failed to score on their last three league trips to the Camp Nou.
  • Elche have not won any of their last seven opening La Liga games (D1 L6), failing to score in six of these games.
  • On the other hand, when starting the season at the Nou Camp, Barcelona have only lost one of 41 inaugural matches (W35 D5), losing to rivals Espanyol in 1939.
  • Luis Enrique's first home defeat as a La Liga manager was to Elche at the Balaidos in September 2013 (1-0).
  • Barcelona scored the second most La Liga goals last season (100), while Elche were the lowest scorers (30).
  • Barcelona have scored in their last 52 home league games; they are one away from equalling their third best run of all-time (53 between 1995 and 1998).
  • Los Ilicitanos ended last season with just one victory from their last 14 away league games (D4 L9); 1-0 against Malaga in May 2014.
  • Ivan Rakitic made a league-high seven assists from set plays last term.
  • Barcelona conceded the highest proportion of goals from corner situations in 2013/14 (27%).

Celta Vigo v Getafe

  • Getafe have never won at the Balaidos in the Primera Division, only managing one draw (1-1 last season) and three defeats.
  • Only one of Celta's eight previous La Liga goals against Getafe has been scored by a Spanish player, and that was their first (Angel).
  • The Blues have suffered a red card on three of their four previous top-flight trips to Vigo.
  • In the decade in the Primera, only once have Getafe failed to net on the opening day, but that was last season at the Anoeta.
  • Joaquin Larrivey scored eight of his 12 league goals last season in the final three months of the campaign.
  • Vicente Guaita saved both penalties he faced in La Liga last term; they are the only two he has kept out of the 12 he faced in the competition in total.
  • No side saw their substitutes score fewer goals in La Liga last season than Getafe (two).
  • Getafe ended last term with their best unbeaten run of the campaign (five), as they survived relegation with a run of three wins and two draws.
  • The Galician side were caught offside fewer times than any other La Liga side in 2013/14 (67).
  • Malagan referee Melero Lopez will make his top-flight debut in this game.

Levante v Villarreal

  • Villarreal have won five of their previous six La Liga visits to the Ciutat de Valencia (L1).
  • The Yellow Submarine won the Valencian Community mini-league with 13 points last season, beating Levante to zero on both occasions.
  • Levante had the lowest possession in La Liga later term (37.3%).
  • Jose Luis Mendilibar has only lost one of five home meetings with Villarreal as a top-flight manager (W3 D1).
  • Ikechukwu Uche scored one of his two braces against Levante last term.
  • David Barral (97) and Pape Diop (80) conceded the most fouls in La Liga last season.
  • Indeed, Moi Gomez was the player to concede the most fouls without getting booked (26).
  • On the last occasion Villarreal played in European competition (2011/12), they were relegated to the second tier.
  • If they keep a clean sheet here, Orriols' side will equal their top-flight home record of four consecutive clean sheets.
  • Villarreal were one of two sides, alongside Barcelona, to win every away game they held the lead in last season.

Real Madrid v Cordoba

  • Real Madrid have already won the European Super Cup this season, winning 2-0 against Andalusian side Sevilla with a Cristiano Ronaldo brace.
  • Indeed if they win the Spanish Supercopa too, Real Madrid will have the chance to win six trophies in a single season for the first time in their history.
  • Cordoba have lost all eight previous away league games against Real Madrid, conceding at least twice in seven of these defeats.
  • Real Madrid have not lost at home to an Andalusian side in La Liga since December 2008, when they were beaten 4-3 by Sevilla.
  • If the side from Madrid win this game, they will have started consecutive campaigns with a victory against a side in Green-and-White (Real Betis last season).
  • Thanks to Cordoba's promotion, 2014/15 will be the first season in La Liga history to see five teams from different provinces of Andalusia represented.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored against ever team he has faced in La Liga, with 46 of his 177 goals (26%) coming against Andalusian sides.
  • Keylor Navas, the first Costa Rican to play for Real, made a league-high 160 saves last term.
  • Angel Di Maria made more assists than any other player in the top five European leagues last season (17).
  • James Rodriguez contributed to more goals than any other midfielder in the French top-flight last term (21, nine goals and 12 assists).
  • Raul Bravo could return to the Bernabeu in this game; he played 77 league games for the Whites.

Rayo Vallecano v Atletico Madrid

  • Atletico Madrid, winners of the 2013/14 La Liga title, also won the most points from Madrid derbies last season (16, Rayo three).
  • Rayo have only won one of their last nine league meetings with Atletico (D2 L6), 2-1 in February 2013.
  • The Red-and-Whites have not lost any of their last six league derbies, winning five and drawing 2-2 at home to Real Madrid last season.
  • Rayo will take part in their fourth consecutive La Liga season; they have never maintained their top-flight status for five in a row.
  • Cholo Simeone's side ended last season with their longest winless run since March 2012 (3, D2 L1).
  • Since their most recent promotion, Rayo have remained unbeaten on the opening day (W2 D1) while they have scored on all six opening day appearances when starting at home.
  • Atletico Madrid would have finished fourth last season on 69 points without Diego Costa's goals. The now-Chelsea man scored 27 goals to win his team a league-high 21 points.
  • Rayo Vallecano averaged 59.5% of possession last season, a figure only beaten by Bayern Munich, Barcelona and PSG in the top five European leagues.
  • Since Diego Simeone took charge of Atleti, Gabi has committed the most fouls in La Liga (212).
  • Atletico Madrid had the best defence in La Liga last term (26 goals conceded) while Rayo had the worst (80).
  • Atleti only faced 95 shots on target last season, at least 32 fewer than any other side.

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