Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has called on his players to show “passion and motivation” to beat Sevilla and leapfrog their LaLiga rivals.
A 3-0 defeat at Sevilla in September under former boss Julen Lopetegui was one of a number of poor results which leave Madrid fourth in the standings and 10 points adrift of leaders Barcelona.
Sevilla sit ahead of Solari’s side, albeit on the same number of points, and the Argentinian wants to see plenty of application from his players to exact revenge at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
“The passion and motivation is undeniable and non-negotiable in the players,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“We’ll show that passion and motivation against Sevilla as we look to fulfil our objective, which is to continue making up ground on the teams above us.
“Winning would mean reducing the points difference and winning again after last weekend’s victory.
“In order to do that we have to put in a big performance tomorrow. More important than our opponent’s systems, is the way we do our thing, continuing with our ideas, going out and winning the game from the first minute and dominating the match at home.”
Madrid won at Real Betis in their last league outing before a midweek Copa del Rey defeat to Leganes – a 1-0 reverse still enough to see Solari’s men into the quarter-finals on aggregate.
But Solari knows Sevilla, who have lost just four times in LaLiga this season, pose a tough threat.
“Sevilla have a lot of strong points,” he added.
“They’ve been doing well since the beginning of the season. They’re good in the build-up, in the attack, pressing…we’ll have to have a great game to beat them.”
Sevilla have won just one of their last five games in all competitions and will be keen not to drop three points below Madrid.
Head coach Pablo Machin believes heading into such a big game could be the perfect anecdote for the recent wobble.
‘We have a really tough game ahead of us,” he said.
“There’s no better place to end this slightly negative run we’re having than in the Bernabeu.”