Football: First 'El Clasico' of new La Liga season set for October

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish arch-rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid will face off in October in next season's first "El Clasico", a highly-charged football clash that stops the nation.

The dates were decided by a draw held by the Spanish football federation on Tuesday, which set the fixtures for the 38 match days of the 2013/2014 season running from Aug 17 to May 18 next year.

Real Madrid, under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, will head to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona on the weekend of Oct 27, with the return match in the Santiago Bernabeu on the weekend of March 23.

Ancelotti will be hoping to improve on his predecessor Jose Mourinho's performance last season when Real surrendered their league title to Barcelona by 15 points and won no silverware other than the Spanish Super Cup.