Barcelona Schedule 2018-19: La Liga Fixtures Released

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

LA CORUNA, SPAIN - APRIL 29:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with his team mates winning La Liga title after the La Liga match between Deportivo La Coruna and Barcelona at Estadio Riazor on April 29, 2018 in La Coruna, Spain .  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona will begin their 2018-19 La Liga title defence with against Alaves at the Camp Nou on August 19.

Ernesto Valverde will attempt to steer the Blaugrana to an eighth league crown in 11 years, having ended his maiden La Liga campaign at the club with only one league defeat—they lost 5-4 to Levante in their penultimate game last term.

Barca have a little wait before they face Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the term on October 28 at the Camp Nou, while the reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu is scheduled for March 3.

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96 days until the first Clasico of the season ⏳ https://t.co/7oZNHHQwI1

The full fixtures for the coming season can be found on the Spanish football federation's website.

Barca's opening fixtures are relatively gentle. They will follow the Alaves clash with meetings against two promoted sides, Real Valladolid and Huesca. 

Then comes a clash against Real Sociedad at the Anoeta Stadium, where Barca have often come unstuck in recent years. Their 4-2 win in January was their first success in the league at the venue since 2007.

The Catalan giants were dominant en route to winning the Liga crown in 2017-18 and finished 14 points ahead of runners-up Atletico Madrid and 17 points in front of rivals Real.

Despite ultimately cruising to the league title last season and securing the trophy in April, there are improvements for the Blaugrana to make ahead of their second campaign under Valverde.

Their win tally of 28 was their joint-lowest of the past four seasons, and while they suffered just one league defeat, they also recorded their highest number of league draws in a decade (nine).

The 2018-19 season will also be Barcelona's first without the services of Andres Iniesta in 16 years. The club achieved a Liga and Copa del Rey double in Iniesta's last term with the club, and he was the focus of their celebrations after they collected more silverware in May:

Lionel Messi has been top scorer in each of the last two La Liga campaigns and can become the first player to lift the award three years running since Real Madrid legend Hugo Sanchez did so between 1986 and 1988.

Valverde has strengthened with the acquisitions of Gremio midfielder Arthur and Sevilla centre-back Clement Lenglet, while Paulinho will not return to the fold after rejoining Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.

Barca's closing run to the 2018-19 season looks relatively encouraging on paper, with the club set to finish their campaign with fixtures against Celta Vigo and Getafe before facing Eibar on the final day.