Last season Almeria was promoted to La Liga after winning LaLiga2, and their first game will come against defending champions Real Madrid. Real Madrid not only won Spain’s top league, but they also became champions of Europe, winning the Champions League and proving to be one of the best teams in the world.
It is never easy to face one of the best and most historic clubs in European soccer, but Almeria has the unlucky task of dealing with that in their first game in La Liga since 2015.
Almeria’s Strong Promotion Campaign
Almeria topped the LaLiga2 table, winning the league for the second time in club history. Winning the league earned them automatic promotion to Spain’s top league, and they will look to avoid relegation this season.
Almeria was able to gain promotion off stellar defense with a strong attack. They allowed the fewest goals in LaLiga2 while scoring the second most. Even though they ended the season tied with Real Valladolid with 81 points, their goal differential of 33 won them the league.
Striker Umar Sadiq was one of the best attacking players in LaLiga2 last season, tying for the most goals and assists with 27 — 18 goals, and nine assists. He was the star of Almeria’s previous season and will need to prove he can have some success against more challenging opponents.
Unlike other teams that are promoted, Almeria did not spend much money in the transfer market this summer to improve their team. Their biggest signing was a young center-back, Kaiky, from Brazil. They also signed Houboulang Mendes on a free transfer. He has experience from Ligue 1, starting 36 games last season for Lorient. Almeria didn’t suffer any key losses, keeping the roster intact that won LaLiga2.
Can Real Madrid Defend Title
Real Madrid topped La Liga easily, having 13 points over second-place Barcelona. After they won the league, they went on to upset Liverpool in the Champions League Final, winning the tournament for the fifth time in the last 10 years.
Last season’s success has led to an uncharacteristic summer transfer window for the Spanish giants, who acquired only two players. They offered a massive fee to Monaco for young midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and signed center-back Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer. For a team that has prided itself on making big money moves to sign the best soccer players in the world, this transfer window lacked the usual Real Madrid “Galacticos” flair.
However, when you look over the team’s roster from last season, which accomplished so much, it’s hard to find a place for improvement other than center-back. The midfield is stacked with an elite core of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro while Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior headline the attack.
In La Liga last season, Real Madrid finished with the most goals, averaging over 2.1 per game, and allowed the second-fewest goals at 0.8 per game.
Almeria vs Real Madrid Head-to-Head
Over the years, Almeria and Real Madrid have not faced each other often because Almeria has been bouncing between La Liga and La Liga 2. They have met six times since 2010, with Real Madrid winning five by a goal differential of over three in each one. The only non-Real Madrid victory was in 2011, when they tied 1-1, a season in which Almeria was freshly promoted.
Almeria vs Real Madrid Game Information
- Date: Sunday, Aug. 14.
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos, Almería, Spain
- Almeria vs Real Madrid Live Stream: fubo.tv
Almeria vs Real Madrid Betting Lines
Almeria vs Real Madrid Prediction
Almeria is unlucky having to face Real Madrid in their first La Liga game since 2015. Especially this Real Madrid team that is coming off a historic season. Real Madrid will likely look to come out strong to cement themselves in their quest to repeat as league champions. The one thing that does go in Almeria’s favor is their strong defense. Furthermore, Real Madrid defeated Frankfurt 2-0 for the UEFA Super Cup in Finland on Wednesday night, which could tire some of the team’s star players.
Score Prediction: Real Madrid 2, Almeria 0