Barca with plenty to prove as LaLiga gets underway

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Six of the past nine league titles reside in Catalonia, but the club's era of dominance could be over, while Real Madrid goes from strength-to-strength under Zinedine Zidane. 

Real Madrid’s 5-1 aggregate win over Barcelona in the Supercopa demonstrated the burgeoning gap between the two sides, prompting defender Gerard Pique to admit his side feels inferior to its Clasico rival heading into the new season.

WATCH: Pique admits Barcelona feels inferior to Madrid

It was a crushing blow to lose Neymar, but Barca needs to put that $A331 million transfer fee to good use and freshen up an ageing squad before start of the new season. 

Paulinho was the club's first order of business, but $A60 million for a midfielder plying his trade in China will hardly put Barca fans' minds at ease, especially when you add in two rebuffed bids for Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Barcelona is crying out for signings on and off the pitch to rebuild morale in a squad disillusioned by Neymar's exit and the club's struggles to find his replacement.

In the meantime, the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets can steady the ship, but if Barcelona wants to prove its era of dominance isn't over it has plenty of work to do before the transfer window slams shut on 31 August.

With all the attention on Barcelona and Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid will be quietly confident of a title tilt. It seems unlikely, but with a wounded Barcelona side and the prospect of Diego Costa returning to the Vicente Calderon in January, Diego Simeone's side will believe anything is possible. 

With the top three spots seemingly sewn up, there promises to be a fascinating race for the final remaining UEFA Champions Legaue spot, with four genuine contenders in Sevilla, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia.

How to watch LaLiga on beIN SPORTS

You can watch every LaLiga game LIVE on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS CONNECT.

What’s on this weekend:

Saturday 19 August

  • Leganes v Alaves, 5.15am AEST beIN 2
  • Valencia v Las Palmas, 6.15am AEST beIN 2

Sunday 20 August

  • Celta Vigo v Real Sociedad, 2.15am AEST beIN 2
  • Girona v At. Madrid, 4.15am AEST beIN 2
  • Sevilla v Espanyol, 6.15am AEST beIN 2

Monday 21 August

  • Athletic Bilbao v Getafe, 4.15am AEST beIN 2
  • Barcelona v Real Betis, 4.15am AEST beIN 1
  • Deportivo v Real Madrid, 6.15am AEST beIN 1

Tuesday 22 August

  • Levante v Villarreal, 4.15am AEST beIN 2
  • Malaga v Eibar, 6am AEST beIN 1

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