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Barca to begin La Liga title defence at Malaga

July 07, 2011

Barcelona players celebrate with the 2010-2011 La Liga trophy. -AFP Photo

MADRID: Barcelona will begin their bid for a fourth consecutive La Liga title at Malaga when the competition kicks off on the weekend of August 20/21, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on Wednesday.

Barca's arch-rivals Real Madrid, whose last title came in 2008, host Athletic Bilbao, and Valencia, who finished third last season, play at Osasuna, the RFEF said after the draw was made at their headquarters outside Madrid.

The season-opening Spanish Super Cup between La Liga champions and holders Barca and King's Cup winners Real will be played over two legs on August 14 and August 17.

The first leg will kick off at Real's Bernabeu stadium at 10 p.m. local time (2000 GMT) and the return leg at the Nou Camp will start at 11 p.m.

The pair are due to meet in the league for the “Clasicos” on Dec. 10/11 in Madrid and April 21/22 in Barcelona, although the match at the Bernabeu may have to be rescheduled because of Barca's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup.