Valencia ace Mata will not underestimate Barcelona
Considering they only dropped two points at the Nou Camp throughout all of last season that will be a concern to Pep Guardiola's men, but Mata is not getting too carried away as his side prepare to make the trip north on Saturday.
When asked if it was a good time to visit Barca, Mata told Sport: "It could be, also because Barca don't tend to do so well in matches after the international break, they are more difficult games for them. But for me, this Barca continues to be at the level of last season.
"They have the same style of play and, at least from outside, our perception of them is the same. The last few results at home have not been as good as they would like, but it's the same squad and the signings of players such as el 'Guaje' (David Villa) makes them much more competitive."
Villa moved to Barca in a big-money transfer from Valencia this summer following five prolific seasons at the Mestalla.
Like Barca, Villa is not yet firing on all cylinders this campaign, but Mata insists the Catalan club's fans have no need to worry about the Spain international, who this week equalled Raul's national record of 44 goals for his country.
"There's no room for doubt about him. In every team that he's played he's scored more than 15 goals (per season) and I'm sure he will score many more at Barca. I think he has a great chance to win the Pichichi (top scorer in La Liga)," Mata said.
"When you miss an opportunity, and then another the following game, it seems that you despair, but as soon as David scores two or three in a game, which I'm sure he's going to do but hopefully not on Saturday, that will bring to an end all the comments. For me he is still the best striker in the world."