A derby is always a derby, with everything that goes with that, but El Gran Derbi between Sevilla and Real Betis on Sunday night is of increased importance to both sides.
Julen Lopetegui‘s men will be looking to put their recent Copa del Rey and Champions League disappointments behind them, while Manuel Pellegrini‘s side have eyes on the top four after winning their last four LaLiga Santander matches.
After two consecutive league defeats, Sevilla are now only six points ahead of their arch-rivals and in danger of slipping out of the top four, despite winning their previous six.
Sunday night’s clash at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan has therefore become something of a battle for fourth place, with the points taking on increased value for both teams.
This will be especially true if Real Sociedad, currently sandwiched between the two Seville clubs in fifth, drop points at Granada on Sunday afternoon.
With LaLiga Santander Sevilla‘s sole focus, Lopetegui will likely field his strongest side, while Pellegrini is boosted by the return of Victor Ruiz.
A derby win needs no other motivation, but, deep down, both Sevilla and Betis will be dreaming of the bright lights of the Champions League.