Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona's Xavi believes "we've dominated time defending La Liga and European champions have dropped four points through four matches.
Xavi thought the results, a 2-2 draw at Valencia midweek and a 2-2 tie at Real Sociedad in Week 2, showed that there are not "only two teams in this league," referring to the recent dominance of Barca and Real Madrid.
"I don't think there are only two teams in this league. The other clubs train very hard, they have quality, strategies, fitness and talent. Saying that is a cruel insult to many good professionals," Xavi said.
Although the end of the season will likely prove La Liga is Barca, Real Madrid and everybody else, Atletico Madrid could add to the talk Saturday at the Camp Nou by taking points off the Spanish giants.
But at home in La Liga, Barcelona is unbeaten and has outscored opponents 13-0 in just two matches, 5-0 over Villarreal and 8-0 over Osasuna. However, it did tie AC Milan 2-2 in the Champions League at home.
Although it's strange to ever see Barca drop points, manager Pep Guardiola has developed a new 3-4-3 formation this season with Cesc Fabregas added in a deal from Arsenal, and the club has not been as solid defensively.
Fabregas has scored in all four of Barca's league games, but the club has seen opponents score two goals in three of its last four matches in all events.
Xavi thought "a point isn't bad," after the game against Valencia but any more dropped points this week could give Guardiola reason to question his switch in tactics.
Atletico Madrid has scored 10 goals in its last three home games and not given up a goal during that stretch, and offseason signing Falcao has scored six of those.
Should Atletico pick up even a point this week, it would have just one loss in five games, and show it could remain near the top of the standings even after selling Sergio Aguero to Manchester City and Diego Forlan to Inter Milan this summer.
Real Madrid has failed to take advantage of the dropped points by Barcelona as it has a loss and a draw in its last two, and has not scored in either match.
Levante stunned Real 1-0 last weekend after Sami Khedira was sent off, and it settled for a 0-0 draw at Racing on Wednesday. Real dropped points in back-to- back matches under Jose Mourinho for the first time.
It was also the first time Real failed to score in consecutive games under the "Special One." Ray Vallecano, which has a victory and two draws, visits the Bernabeu on Saturday, and there may not be a better time to face Real.
In addition to its recent poor games, Real hosts Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday. Barca, which lost midfielder Ibrahim Afellay to an ACL tear during practice Thursday, travels to Belarus to play BATE on Wednesday.
Also Saturday, Villarreal visits Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla visits Valencia. Villarreal has a win and a draw in its last two after struggling early in the season, and plays Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday. Valencia, which had its three-game La Liga win streak snapped midweek, hosts Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday.
On Sunday, Malaga will gun for its fourth straight victory at Real Zaragoza, Sporting Gijon hopes to earn its first point when it hosts Racing, Mallorca hosts Real Sociedad, Levante hosts Espanyol, and Granada hosts Osasuna.
On Monday, unbeaten and surprise leader Real Betis visits Getafe in search of its fifth straight win to open the season.