Barcelona havsthe opportunity to steal an early march on its title rivals when Valencia visits Camp Nou on Saturday.
With the two Madrid clubs - Atletico and Real - not playing until Sunday, Gerardo Martino's men can temporarily move three points clear of the second-placed Rojiblancos at the summit with a victory.
Barca returned to winning ways in La Liga by beating Malaga weekend, having been held to draws in its previous two fixtures, away to Atletico and Levante.
And history weighs heavily in the hosts' favor in this fixture, with Valencia without a win at Camp Nou since 2003.
The reverse fixture - held in September - ended 3-2 to Barcelona, with Lionel Messi scoring a hat trick for the visitors, and Helder Postiga grabbing a quickfire brace to complete the scoring before halftime.
Valencia's form has been unpredictable this season and it has picked up just two Liga wins on the road, while Martino's charges have a 100 percent winning record from 10 home matches this season.
However, in contrast to Barca, which is yet to do any business in the January transfer window, Valencia has been at the center of a number of comings and goings in recent days.
This week saw the Mestalla outfit agree a deal to sign Seydou Keita - who will just miss out on making his debut against his former club - while the club allowed Postiga, Andres Guardado and Dorlan Pabon to leave.
Valencia also sealed the permanent signature of Ruben Vezo and a loan deal for Napoli's Eduardo Vargas earlier in the month.
Barca sealed progression to the Copa del Rey semifinals by completing a 9-2 aggregate demolition of Levante on Wednesday, while Valencia will have the advantage of a week's rest after its last outing, a 2-2 draw with Espanyol in La Liga.
Neymar (ankle) is the hosts' only major absence through injury, while Valencia is not thought to have any fresh injury concerns.