Deportivo v Eibar – Friday 9.00pm, Sky Sport Red Button
These two sides finished just a point and a place apart from each other last season with Deportivo 15th and Eibar 14th. The new man in charge at Deportivo, Gaizka Garitano, is still revered by Eibar’s fans having led them to back-to-back promotions from Segunda Division B to La Liga and he’ll no doubt be given a hero’s welcome.
Depor were 9th after 24 games last term only for a hopeless run of form which saw them win just two of their final 14 games. It was similarly a season of two halves for Eibar as they were up in six after 20 games, but struggled for the rest of the season to drop down to 14th. They were particularly poor on the road where they lost 10 of their final 13 while conceding 32 times.
The pressure will be on Garitano after he finished 18th in his only La Liga season with Eibar (they were saved because of Elche’s financial struggles) and was then sacked by Valladolid last term after just 10 games in charge. However he has managed to build some confidence at Deportivo after a productive pre-season that saw them win six of their eight games. Eibar look there for the taking with the loss of key men Keko and Sail Berjon in attacking wide areas, while last season’s loanee and leading frontman Borja Baston has gone to Swansea. As a result we’re backing Garitano to get off to a winning start against his former club.