MADRID, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona have the chance to make history when they entertain Valladolid in the BBVA Primera Liga on Saturday night.
Barca go into the game on the back of their best ever start to a season with seven wins from their first seven matches in the league and a further win on Saturday would make them the first side in the history of the Spanish League to win their first eight matches of a campaign.
That record could be equalized by Atletico Madrid, who have also enjoyed a flying start to the season, but Atletico have to wait until Sunday lunchtime before they take on Celta Vigo in the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
Barca coach, Tata Martino will be without striker Leo Messi, who is out with a thigh injury which sidelined him for the hard-fought 1-0 triumph away to Glasgow Celtic in the Champions League on Tuesday and which will keep him out of the Argentinean national side for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.
There was a time when Messi's absence would have been cause for major concern and while it is true that the absence of the best footballer in the world is sure to be missed, with Neymar quickly finding his feet in European football and Cesc Fabrigas enjoying a fine start to the campaign, the fact is Barca should have few problems filling Messi's boots for the night, given that Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez also offer attacking options.
"Neymar could play as a central striker, but we will see if it is on Saturday or at another moment," said Barca coach Tata Martino in his pre-game press conference.
"He is very young, but he is used to carrying the pressure of being an exceptional player," added the coach, who believes the most important thing is for a player not to try and imitate anyone else, but to be themselves on the pitch.
Martino also said he believed Messi's injury was down to bad luck rather than doing too much work and travelling over the summer and commented about the pressure of his job.
"It seems we need to have a crisis at the club every week," said Martino, in reference to the incredible amount of attention given to every aspect surrounding the Spanish league champions.
Meanwhile central defender Marc Bartra has also been performing well in the absence of the injured Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano and will once again partner Gerard Pique in the Barca back line.
Speaking on Thursday, Barta, who had hardly played until Marcherano hurt his knee, said his recent performances had given him confidence and made him feel valued at the club.
Meanwhile Martino confirmed Puyol would be available for selection following the international break.
Valladolid meanwhile travel to Barcelona with just one win and six points from their first seven games of the season and although striker Javi Guerra has been in good form the fact they have scored just six times, shows where they have struggled.
Coach Juan Ignacio Martinez has tried to maintain the flowing football played under former coach, Miroslav Djukic, but will use a more defensive approach in the Camp Nou.