We have a rare midweek slate of matches in La Liga this week, with the highlight being league leaders Valencia hosting Barcelona on Wednesday. That match is just one of 10 midweek matches spread across three days.
A dramatic 4-3 opening day win against Racing Santander, thanks to two goals in the last five minutes, has been followed by successive 1-0 wins against Atletico Madrid and Sporting Gijon as Unai Emery’s side moved to the top of the table.
In their three games so far, Barcelona have recorded 5-0 and 8-0 thumpings over Villarreal and Osasuna respectively, but they were sandwiched by a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad which sees them in third place.
It is no coincidence that both of the thrashings handed out by Pep Guardiola’s men came at the Nou Camp and Barca will have to be at their best on the road this season if they want to stave off the challenge of the likes of Real Madrid, Valencia and Malaga.
Lionel Messi netted a treble in the demolition of Osasuna and has already bagged five goals this season, but so has Valencia forward Roberto Soldado in an indication that the meeting between the two sides could be full of goals.
Real Madrid will be desperate to atone for a 1-0 defeat at Levante on Sunday when they travel to Racing Santander, also on Wednesday.
Racing have just one point from their three matches and it is hard to see an outcome that does not involve Jose Mourinho’s men winning, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Mezut Oezil, who all started from the bench at Levante, likely to take on more significant roles.
Also on Wednesday, Sporting Gijon are on the road at Atletico Madrid, Levante travel to Rayo Vallecano while big-spending Malaga welcome Athletic Bilbao.
Malaga added the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jeremy Toulalan, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Martin Demichelis to their squad in the transfer window and, with two wins on the trot, they will enter the match with confidence.
In three games on Tuesday, fourth-placed Sevilla are on the road at Osasuna, newly promoted Granada travel to Real Sociedad and Villarreal are at home against Mallorca.
The action ends on Thursday when Espanyol and Getafe meet while Real Betis, who have recorded three wins from as many matches to sit second, host Real Zaragoza.