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La Liga Fixtures 2014 Week 2: Schedule, Live Stream Info, Picks and Key Players

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 25:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates with Toni Kroos after scoring Real's 2nd goal during the La liga match between Real Madrid CF and Cordoba CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 25, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2014

Reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid opened their title defence with a draw at Rayo Vallecano to hand fellow giants Barcelona and Real Madrid an early advantage in this season's silverware hunt.

Diego Simeone's men will attempt to move past that disappointment when Eibar travel to the Vicente Calderon on Saturday, but Spain's other big guns have a selection of more enticing fixtures on their hands.

Week 2 of the 2014-15 campaign features a bounty of storylines worth keeping an eye on, with viewing information and analysis of the weekend's key players detailed ahead.

2014-15 La Liga Week 2 Schedule
DateFixtureTimeLive Stream
August 29Getafe vs. Almeria7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ETbeIN Play (U.S.)
August 29Valencia vs. Malaga9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETSky Go (UK), beIN Play (U.S.)
August 30Cordoba vs. Celta Vigo6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ETN/A
August 30Athletic Bilbao vs. Levante6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ETSky Go (UK)
August 30Atletico Madrid vs. Eibar8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETbeIN Play (U.S.)
August 30Espanyol vs. Sevilla10 p.m. BST/5 p.m. ETSky Go (UK), beIN Play (U.S.)
August 31Villarreal vs. Barcelona6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ETSky Go (UK), beIN Play (U.S.)
August 31Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETSky Go (UK), beIN Play (U.S.)
August 31Deportivo la Coruna vs. Rayo Vallecano8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETN/A
August 31Elche vs. Granada10 p.m. BST/5 p.m. ETN/A
Soccerway.com

Stream Providers: Sky Go (UK, subscription required), beIN Sport Play (U.S., subscription required)

 

Must-Watch Matchups

Valencia vs. Malaga

Both Valencia and Malaga got their league campaigns off to ill-tempered starts. Vitorino Antunes and Duda each saw red for the Anchovies late in their 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, while Valencia youngster Rodrigo de Paul was sent off at Sevilla.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 26: Vitorino Gabriel Pacheco Antunes of Malaga CF looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Malaga CF at Camp Nou on January 26, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

With Antunes out of the picture, Arthur Boka looks set to deputise at left-back for Malaga, but one performance Javi Garcia will have been particularly encouraged by came from on-loan playmaker Luis Alberto.

The Liverpool maestro has slotted straight into Malaga's setup and netted an initially saved penalty to provide the winner against Athletic, earning praise from his parent club:

In Dani Parejo and Javi Fuego, Valencia have a capable midfield anchor who could prove problematic for the former Sevilla youngster, and Malaga's weakened ranks mean there's that much more emphasis on the starting line-up to impress.

 

Villarreal vs. Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 18:  Munir jumps over Christian Martinez of Club Leon during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Club Leon at Camp Nou on August 18, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Luis Enrique gave a firm statement of belief in the Barca youth system when handing Rafinha and Munir el Haddadi their places in the starting XI against Elche last weekend.

The latter rewarded his manager with a debut goal, adding to Lionel Messi's brace to push his side to the top of the table after Week 1. The club's official Twitter account confirms the young attacker is training with the senior players once again prior to this weekend's trip to Villarreal:

A 3-0 win over Elche is one thing, but having seen Villarreal earn a 2-0 victory against Levante, Barca know they're in for a tougher test come Sunday.

Denis Cheryshev was one of those on target for Fernando Roig Alonso's men, and his position on the flank could see him come into direct competition with Munir, making for a head-to-head worth keeping tabs on.

 

Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid

Real Sociedad's hope for a revival in form this season took a hit in the opening round of fixtures, where Eibar's first-ever La Liga match also resulted in their first-ever top-tier victory.

Despite enjoying 59 percent of the possession, per WhoScored.com, penetration was La Real's main issue, and it's a shortcoming in which Real Madrid won't be as forgiving on Sunday.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Los Merengues started their term with a 2-0 win over Cordoba. Toni Kroos enjoyed another fine outing, setting up Real's first league goal of the season for Karim Benzema.

The German will be important in all aspects in what's sure to be a flooded Sociedad midfield, ensuring the likes of Sergio Canales and Esteban Granero aren't able to leave their man while constructing for those assets around him.

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