It’s fair to say that Barcelona have monopolised La Liga over the last decade, with eight league titles in 11 years since Pep Guardiola first took over.
Ernesto Valverde will be going for his third successive title but the way that the fixtures have fallen this season makes that a difficult task.
Barca travel to San Mames on the opening day, a ground where they’re unbeaten in five. However, they’ve started off some seasons slowly and that really isn’t the best place to begin 2019/20 unless each player is already firing on all cylinders.Their first game at the Camp Nou sees Real Betis looking to emulate their surprise victory from last season, and even with a managerial change (Rubi for Setien), they’ll be entirely confident. After all, they’ve nothing to lose.
A busy September gives way to an October that will have Champions League games to negotiate as well as fixtures with Sevilla and Real Madrid.
Eibar is the only away game that month, a team against whom Barca have never lost. Though that’s of little comfort.
November and December afford Valverde the opportunity to rotate his squad somewhat, but there are one or two banana skins including a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano to face a new-look Atletico Madrid side.
With the Spanish Super Cup being played in January 2020 next season, there’s a potential two games early on in the year against two of Valencia, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Los Che are also their final league opponents in the month, with a Catalan derby against Espanyol kicking off the new year.
February, on paper, doesn’t appear too taxing, with the greatest respect to those teams scheduled; Levante, Betis, Getafe and Eibar, but as soon as the calendar moves into March, Real Madrid loom large.
An April that includes fixtures against Sevilla, Athletic Club, Celta and Atletico Madrid, coupled with potential European knockout games and the Copa del Rey final is, frankly, awful, but it doesn’t get any better in May.
Barcelona’s final five fixtures are scheduled to be played in the space of 21 days, with a potential Champions League final coming six days later.
There’s been lots of noise surrounding who the club have been linked with in transfer terms, but they really do need to have some elite players in reserve throughout the campaign.
Particularly if they want to get close to the holy grail of another Champions League and maybe more.
Perhaps this season, more than any other in recent times, will see a deserved winner of the league. Whoever it is will have to work extra hard for it, Barca maybe more than their closest rivals.