Barcelona are the only team left with a perfect record in La Liga but their match against Girona on Sunday is not all about the points.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are already playing catch-up on the Catalans while Villarreal host rivals Valencia at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Girona took the lead at the Camp Nou last season but by the finish, Luis Suarez had a hat-trick and Barcelona had scored six.
It would be a brave person to bet against another home win on Sunday but hanging in the air too will be the very real possibility this match is not returned.
The reverse fixture in Girona in January is set to be switched to Miami, even if various parties still need to give the plan the green light.
Part of the deal is for this weekend’s Camp Nou game to be free for 5,000 Girona fans. It could be their last chance to see Barca up close for another year.
Mestalla was rocking for Valencia’s Champions League return on Wednesday and so was the team’s defence as 10-man Juventus, without the sent off Cristiano Ronaldo, still cruised to a comfortable win.
“I am not worried but I expected a better performance,” said their manager Marcelino, who has worked wonders since becoming the club’s sixth coach in 20 months, but is yet to taste victory this term.
A frenzied grudge match away to Villarreal could be the antidote, particularly as their opponents are struggling too, 14th, with only two goals in four games.
Even their first points dropped at Athletic Bilbao last weekend have done little to puncture the enthusiasm at Real Madrid, who have made a stronger start to life after Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane than many expected.
Espanyol are the visitors on Saturday and they will probably be up against Thibaut Courtois, with Keylor Navas likely to find his impressive midweek display insufficient to stay in goal. -AFP