Real Madrid must return to winning ways after their recent defeat to Barcelona as they have no margin for error. Carlo Ancelotti's side aim to bounce back from their 4-3 'El Clasico' defeat when they travel to fifth-placed Sevilla.
In just 72 hours, Real have gone from La Liga title certainty to also-rans if they do not secure the full three points against the Andalusian club – who have notched five wins in a row.
The Spanish giants do not have fond memories of their last visit to the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium – their last meeting was the fourth game of the 2012/13 campaign and finished in a 1-0 victory for Sevilla. A goal by Piotr Trochowski left Los Blancos in a difficult situation very early on in the season. Then Real Madrid were left eight points adrift of Barcelona, a lead they failed to reverse.
This season, Real handed a 7-3 drubbing to Sevilla in October, where Gareth Bale scored a brace on his full Bernabeu debut for Los Blancos.
Now Ancelotti's side are level on points with Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga and one point above the resurgent Barcelona, who now have 69 points after winning at the Bernabeu.
Real are going into the match without Ramos or Di María. Varane will reoplace the centre-back and Isco looks a likely substitute for the Argentine, although Asier Illarramendi is also a possibility. In attack, Ancelotti will again put his trust in the BBC –Karim Benzema, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo - who misfired at the El Clasico showdown.
The duel will highlight the battle between Croatians Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, both key players in their respective teams and great pillars of Balkan selection.
Modric is the sixth most-capped player in La Liga with Real, but has managed one goal and six assists. Rakitic has shone in a spectacular campaign. Following the departure of Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo, he has become the great leader of Sevilla, as proved by his 11 goals and 9 assists.
Real will take to the pitch tonight at the same time as Atletico and knowing the Barca result.
Following a spectacular Clasico, Barcelona host Celta Vigo at Camp Nou in their quest to regain the top spot and need to win their nine remaining games for any chance to win the league.
The Galician side are hoping to cause an upset under the leadership of Luis Enrique, who returns to Camp Nou ten years after leaving Barca as a player.
Tata Martino has left Xavi Hernandez and Martin Montoya's names off the starting list as he puts his faith in Alexis and Pedro.
Incredibly, Atletico Madrid have a chance of winning La Liga including the game against Granada at the Vicente Calderon – they are current league leaders and will aim to keep their hard-earned and somewhat unexpected position.
However, boss Cholo Simeone is not interested in talking about his club's place at the top of La Liga and is looking no further ahead than the next game against the Andalusian club, who proved hard to beat the first time around.