Barcelona welcome back Sergio Busquets for their clash at Rayo Vallecano but the visitors will have to do without midfielder-cum-centre-half Javier Mascherano.
Mascherano was red-carded in the thrilling 5-4 win at Deportivo La Coruna last weekend and Barca's appeal was dismissed this morning, meaning the Argentinian will miss the trip west.
His absence is likely to mean Busquets starts at centre-back, after missing the midweek Champions League win over Celtic through suspension, alongside youngster Marc Bartra.
Dani Alves also returns to the squad after sustaining a thigh injury during the 2-2 draw with Real Madrid on October 7 but Gerard Pique remains sidelined.
Barca boss Tito Vilanova is expecting Rayo to come out firing.
``The clash with Rayo will be not a typical game in which a team concedes possession to us,'' he said at a press conference. ``They will meet us face to face.''
Rayo coach Paco Jemez is excited at the prospect of welcoming Barca to the Madrid suburbs despite their last visit still being fresh in the memory.
The Catalans, then under Pep Guardiola, romped to a 7-0 win with Lionel Messi and Pedro each grabbing a brace in an embarrassingly one-sided contest.
Jemez told Spanish news agency EFE: ``We are really happy and eager to face one of the best teams in the world, which is something that does not happen every week.
``We are going to try to hurt them and win the game.''
Jemez accepts it would be quite a shock if they were to take something from a side who share top spot in the Primera Division having won seven and drawn one of their opening eight fixtures.
And he admits even when they are not at their best they have the players to win games.
He added: ``The other day against Deportivo, they suffered and yet still scored five.
``The fact that no-one has beaten them in the league says a lot.
``Barca are a team which does everything right and that is very difficult to counter.''
Rayo have won just one of their last five games after a promising start and sit 12th in the table.