Second-placed Atletico Madrid visit third-placed Sevilla on Sunday as La Liga returns after a short festive break.
With Barcelona, at the summit of La Liga, within the grasp of both Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, there is a chance for both sides to increase the pressure on the Nou Camp side when they face each other at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
The game is both side’s first match back after the winter break – with Sevilla looking to bounce back from a disappointing draw with Leganes just before the festive period began, and Atleti looking to continue their current 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Atleti can go level on points momentarily with Barcelona with a win, at least until the current league leaders go to Getafe later in the day on Sunday.
A Sevilla win, meanwhile, would see them jump back into second place and overtake Atleti, moving within two points of top spot in the process.
With Diego Costa injured, Antoine Griezmann and Nikola Kalinic are likely to be the front two for Atleti, facing up against the probable Sevilla back three of Dani Carrico, Sergi Gomez and Gabriel Mercado.
Former Swansea City man Roque Mesa will be in Sevilla’s midfield, along with Ever Banega; Thomas Partey, Saul Niguez, Rodri and Koke are the options available to Atleti.
Andre Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder will be up top for Sevilla, up against Stefan Savic and Diego Godin, part of an Atleti defence that has conceded just 12 times in 17 league games this season.
Quincy Promes has often been used off the bench more often than not for Sevilla and he could be an option should they need to change the game, while Gelson Martins or Vitolo could be Atleti’s hero off the bench if they are not selected to start.
Sevilla have won just once in the last 15 La Liga meetings between these two sides. Atleti have won eight and there have been six draws.
That Sevilla win came in October 2016, although they did beat Atleti home and away in the Copa del Rey last January.
In last season’s league clashes, Atleti won 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano in September, and 5-2 in Sevilla in February.
Despite the victory, that was the first time Sevilla had scored more than once against Diego Simeone’s side since he took charge. This season, Atleti have conceded the fewest number of goals of any La Liga side, so repeating the feat looks a difficult ask.