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La Liga Acid test for Girona FC on opening day

Newly promoted Girona FC are rewarded with the visit of Atlético Madrid

Girona FC will play their first ever game in Spain’s top-flight when they take on Atlético Madrid, at home. Pablo Machin is the current head coach of the Catalan outfit. Machin is a former Numancia defender. Girona earned their right to play in La Liga after finishing runners-up to Levante in the Secunda Division. Formed in 1930, Girona FC has played much of its football in the Tercera División (4th division). The team plays at the modest Estadi Montilivi, with a capacity of 13,500. Visiting teams should expect to receive a hostile reception, especially if they’re from the Basque country.

Machin has got a lot of work to do in order to get his team ready for the arrival of Atléti. Machin’s current squad is light on numbers and is valued at around €15m.  Girona bolstered its ranks with the recent acquisition of Colombian central defender Bernado Espinosa, from Middlesbrough, for a fee of around €3.8m. Crishian Stuani has since followed Espinosa from Boro to Girona on a free transfer. Last season’s top-scorer Samuele Longo has returned back to his parent club, Inter Milan. Longo was a key architect in Girona’s promotion season, scoring 14 goals in 38 starts. Malaga visits the Estadi Montilivi, before the white and red travels to the hostile San Mames, where they will face Athletic Bilbao.

It could be a very long season for Girono, but there’s no doubt that the league’s newcomers are relishing the challenge ahead.

Twitter @GironaFC

La Liga 2017/18 Preview Part 1

featured image from Arnaugir – free to use licence

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