Barça are back, full of vigour

"We have already been to the dentist, now the others can visit." Caparros said after Levante saw seven goals go against them at the Camp Nou. The same could have been said by Poyet yesterday after the battering that his Betis suffered, which was slightly covered over by two goals from Ruben Castro. Even while being short of Neymar and Iniesta, the culé attack moved well. Arda Turan is finding his place, awaiting Neymar's return. Last season he wasn't himself, after half a year without playing, and his performances with Turkey in the Euros were pitiful, causing some banter between the Spanish fans on the day of the Turkey-Spain match. But now...

Arda Turan fills Neymar void impressively.

From the stands to the field

Now he has joined the Barça style of play. He comes then goes; loaded and ready in and around the goal. Already he understands the role better than Munir who lies in waiting. On top of this, Messi is still Messi and Luis Suarez has returned as if he'd never been away - it was an impressive game from Barça. The onlooking fans were rubbing their hands together and Luis Enrique celebrated the game immersed in his team. He also noted a second reason for being happy: the support that was on show. That vibe had been missing from the stadium. The idea is the same as always: noise on the terraces can lift everyone on the field, it’s all very positive...if you don’t mess it up. We'll see.

Same old Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

Bale to calm the Catalans

Madrid take the focus today in Anoeta looking to cool the Barça hype. They are missing five of the Milan champions, including Pepe, Modric and Cristiano, part of the spine of the team. But the squad provides cover in almost every position, to the point that even with so many absences there will be very good players who still can’t find a starting berth. All eyes will be on Bale who showed a visible improvement last year and had a great Euro 2016 performance. He will be the major concern for this Real side that has just extended highly prized Oyarzábal’s contract amid transfer speculation. A moral victory for the club on the eve of a big day.

Bale time.