Matchday 3 in La Liga is upon us, with the latest round in the Spanish top flight kicking off on Friday with Real Sociedad's trip to Las Palmas — this is one of only two fixtures taking place this Friday, alongside Real Madrid's clash away to Celta Vigo.
The majority of this round will take place over the weekend, with three scheduled for Saturday and another three penciled in on Sunday. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, will feature in one of the two games taking place on Monday.
All eyes will be on Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are not far from each other in the table but have endured drastically different starts to the campaign. Meanwhile, Rayo Vallecano have gotten off to a lovely start but the question on everyone's mind is how long they can maintain this, especially given their upcoming opponent.
Here is everything you need to know about Matchday 3 in La Liga.
Broadcast information for La Liga in the United States
La Liga standings ahead of Matchday 3
Top games to watch on Matchday 3 of La Liga
Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid
Los Blancos currently top the table after kicking off the campaign with back-to-back wins. In fact, they are one of only three teams to have a perfect record so far, beating Athletic Club 2-0 in their opener before triumphing 3-1 over Almeria. Celta Vigo, meanwhile, who narrowly avoided relegation last term, are yet to win a game this season, kicking off the campaign with a defeat and a draw. The Sky Blues have the home advantage but that might not mean much when Ancelotti's side pay them a visit.
Villarreal vs Barcelona
The standout game of this round is undoubtedly Barcelona's trip to Villarreal. Despite being the reigning champions, Xavi's side have been below par so far, drawing 0-0 away to Getafe in a heated opener before limping to a 2-0 victory over Cadiz over the weekend. The Catalan giants failed to impress in both games and will need to figure things out quickly in order to maintain pace with Real Madrid.
The hosts, meanwhile, are not too far off Barcelona, having won one and lost the other. This means they trail the Catalan giants by a single point after two rounds and can leapfrog Lewandowski and Co. with a win on Sunday. However, the Yellow Submarine lost both home and away to the Blaugrana last term and will need to improve on this.
Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid
Despite losing Andoni Iraola, their highly-rated former manager, Rayo Vallecano have gotten off to an emphatic start in La Liga. Alongside Real Madrid and Valencia, the hosts are one of only three sides with a perfect start, winning their opening two fixtures against Granada and Almeria, which should give them the confidence to beat Atletico Madrid. Last season, Los Franjirrojos took four points off of eventual champions Barcelona. Can they take down another Spanish powerhouse this term?
As for Diego Simeone's men, there has been nothing impressive about their start to the campaign, A win and a draw from their opening two games leave Los Rojiblancos with four points, which is lovely, and falling two points behind your rivals this early in the season is not a death sentence. Nonetheless, Griezmann and Co. were held to a goalless draw by Real Betis in the most recent round and cannot afford to drop further points.
Who's in and who's out
Here are the list of players injured from La Liga's top clubs
Real Sociedad: Andre Silva and Martin Merquelanz (injured)
Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois, Arda Guler, and Eder Militao (injured)
Villarreal: Francis Coquelin and Alberto Moreno (injured)
Barcelona: Inigo Martinez, Ronald Araujo, and Pedri (injured); Raphinha (suspended)
Sevilla: Tanguy Nianzou, Marcao, and Marcos Acuna (injured)
Atletico Madrid: Reinildo Mandava, Jose Maria Gimenez, Koke, and Vitolo (all injured)
Real Betis: Nabil Fekir (injured)