By Paul Giblin
MADRID, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona face their toughest test of the season to date on Saturday night when they travel to play an in-form Sevilla.
With Real Madrid not playing until Sunday again, this is another chance for Tito Vilanova's side to open up a temporary 11-point lead over Madrid, but it will be difficult against a Sevilla side unbeaten this season and which has already defeated Real Madrid in the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Barca are still without central defenders Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol through injury, and the pair are racing to be fit for the 'Classico' against Real Madrid the following Sunday.
Meanwhile there is a chance that Andres Iniesta will have recovered from a muscle injury, while Sevilla will look to the pace of Jesus Navas to trouble the Barca back line.
Real Madrid entertain Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday night and will expect all three points against a team that was beaten by Sevilla last weekend.
The waters appear to have calmed in Madrid following Cristiano Ronaldo's announcement of sadness and the only question appears to be whether or not Mesut Ozil or Luka Modric will start for Madrid.
With European matches during the coming week, most of the Spanish sides in European action play on Saturday: Valencia have had a worrying start to the season and coach Mauricio Pellegrino needs a win at home to Zaragoza otherwise serious questions will be asked of his capacity to lead the team.
Malaga, meanwhile are unbeaten this campaign and in excellent form. They will hope to take three points off a Betis side which had to play Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and will be without Joel Campbell and Perequis through suspension.
Saturday also sees the Basque derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Club Bilbao with Athletic looking to kick-start their season against a side that has won both of its home games.
Granada, who are without a win, but who performed well in the Camp Nou last weekend, kick off Sunday's matches at home to an improving Celta Vigo, who have Iago Aspes as one of the early stars of the season in Spain.
That is followed by Valladolid against Rayo Vallecano with Valladolid looking to end a three-match losing streak against a team that has been defeated in its last two matches.
Osasuna also look for their first three-point haul of the campaign with Levante the visitors in El Sadar. Jose Luis Mendilibar's team will be able to welcome back club captain Patxi Punal after a four-game suspension.
Espanyol are in the same situation as Osasuna and face a tough game against Atletico Madrid, who are in form and full of confidence after beating Betis on Wednesday. That win took Atletico top of the table and their only doubt is whether Radomal Falcao will be able to play the full 90 minutes because of a muscle problem.
The round of games concludes on Monday when Getafe take on high-flying Mallorca, who have taken 11 points from their first four matches and have become very tough to beat under coach Joaquin Caparros.