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El Clasico date pushed back as La Liga announce fixture changes

A host of La Liga fixtures have been shifted from the tentative schedule announced in mid-July, including both El Classico's and the Madrid derby at the Santiago Bernabeu. The first El Clasico will be held on November 22 and the return fixture at the Nou Camp on April 10.

La Liga fixtures football
The El Clasico fixtures will take place on November 22 and April 10 respectively

Spain’s Superior Sports Council (CSD) has approved changes to the 2015/16 season schedule, including the two El Clasico’s and the Copa Del Rey, ESPN reports. The changes were made after the CSD approved recommendations from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to move a few matches.

The tentative La Liga calendar for the 2015-16 season was announced in the second week of July and the provisional fixture list draft was sent to all the 20 Spanish clubs for their response. The new television rights deal aimed at equal distribution of income, which was passed in 2014, comes into effect starting this season and is understood to have played a major role in the fixture changes.

Barcelona’s official club website has confirmed that the first El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu has been pushed back by two weeks and will now be played on November 22nd  after the international break, instead of the earlier scheduled date of November 8. The return fixture at the Nou Camp has also been shifted with the match now set to take place on April 10th instead of April 3rd. 

The date for the Madrid derby at the Santiago Bernabeu has been shifted from February 28th to March 2nd. However, the first league meeting remains unchanged from the initial October 4th weekend date. 

The two matches Atletico Madrid and Barcelona will go ahead as initially scheduled on the weekends of September 12/13 and January 16/17 respectively.

The entire matchday 10 of the La Liga has been shifted from October 28 to November 1, with the first leg of the Copa Del Rey round of 32 matches now scheduled for the former date. That has also pushed back the entire calendar by a week and the final round of matches will now be played on the weekend of May 21/22. 

Here is a look at the most important fixtures that were moved.

Fixtures Dates
First matchweek August 22 or 23
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona September 12 or 13
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid  October 3 or 4
Real Madrid vs Barcelona November 22
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid January 16 or 17
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid March 1/2
Barcelona vs Real Madrid April 10
Final weekend May 21 or 22

The Copa Del Rey final, however, has been preponed to May 7, the matchday for Week 36, and not May 21 as originally planned. The league champions Barcelona have had their derby matches against Espanyol shifted as well and will now be played on January 10 and May 15. 

The La Liga kicks off this weekend with the clash between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, their third meeting in the space of two weeks, being the standout fixture. 

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