Messi, Neymar and company have a heavy load this week / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

This is going to be a key week for FC Barcelona as they will have three Liga matches in seven days. From Sunday 21 September through Saturday 27 Luis Enrique's squad will have nine points in play, the same number of points that were on the table through the entire first month of the season.

The first six points will be disputed away from the friendly confines of the Camp Nou. Their first match will be at Levante on Sunday, September 21 at 9.00 PM CET. Just 72 hours later on Wednesday 24 the club will face Malaga at 10.00 PM CET. Those will be their last two consecutive away Liga matches until the season's midpoint when they face Deportivo and Elche in weeks 19 and 20.

The third and final test of this week of intensive football will be on Saturday, 27 September at 6.00 PM CET when Barça take on Granada at the Camp Nou. Champions League football returns following week.

Again in April

FC Barcelona won't have to play three Liga matches in one week again until the month of April, when they will have to do it not once but twice. The first three will be a week in early April against Celta, Almeria, and Sevilla. And a couple of weeks later they'll face Espanyol, Getafe, and Cordoba, again in a seven day period.

From now until then Barça's midweek schedule is loaded with other competitions. The Champions League group stage still has five more matches and will be running up until Christmas, and from then through the month of January the team's midweek commitments will be reserved for the Spanish Cup.