With an impressive 3-0 win at the Reyno de Navarra, Villarreal leapfrogged FC Barcelona to move into temporary control of La Liga, as goals from Jeremy Perbet, Javier Aquino and Ikechukwu Uche saw off the threat of Osasuna. Proof, if any was needed, that the Yellow Submarine truly belong at this level, and who knows whether they can keep up this early pace and challenge for a European qualification place in their very first season back in the Primera Division? Probably not, but for the moment, Barcelona need to make sure that they can match Villarreal and retain control of La Liga -- a competition that they have held the top spot in for a jaw-dropping 40 consecutive match-days.
And given that the Blaugrana kick-off at 21:00 CET, they may start their match against Valencia behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, who only need a point at home to Athletic Bilbao to temporarily overtake Barca. In the absence of Xavi and Alexis Sanchez, Gerardo Martino is set to name a different line-up to the one that drew 0-0 with Atletico Madrid in midweek -- will these changes refresh the Blaugrana, or simply lead to a disjointed performance?
Will Neymar start his first-ever match in La Liga? Will he display a better "connection" with fellow superstar Lionel Messi? Will Cesc Fabregas continue his impressive early season form? Can Barcelona keep a third successive clean sheet -- both in La Liga, and in all competitions? So many questions -- not too long to wait until we find out the answers.
Predict the score of tonight's match in the comments section below to be in with a chance of winning a prize at the season's end. Best of luck!
More from Barca Blaugranes:
- La Liga: Valencia CF vs FC Barcelona: Match Preview
- Segunda División: FC Barcelona B 1-0 Real Zaragoza: Match Review
- FC Barcelona News: 31 August 2013; Xavi and Alexis Rested Against Valencia, 12 Players Called Up by National Teams
- Supercopa de España: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atletico Madrid: Player Ratings
- UEFA Super Cup: Bayern Munich vs Chelsea FC: Live Open Thread