Sevilla coach Unai Emery believes Sunday’s match against Liga leaders Real Madrid provides the perfect opportunity to lift his players following Tuesday’s damaging Champions League loss to Manchester City.
The Europa League holders are facing a return to Europe’s second-tier tournament or elimination altogether from continental competition this season after City ran out commanding 3-1 winners at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
With two matches remaining in Group D, Sevilla are five points behind second-place Juventus in third but they will return to their home stadium at the weekend hoping for another high-profile domestic scalp.
Barcelona were were beaten 2-1 by Emery’s men at the start of last month and the coach accepts that such heroics have created a certain level of expectation surrounding visits from Spain’s heavyweight clubs.
“We have a really nice game on Sunday versus Real Madrid,” he said. “It’s one of those matches that always generates expectations.
“Real Madrid has lost here, and there’ve been matches where Sevilla have had the edge on Real Madrid.
“We have to look for points that will help us climb the league table.”
The win over Barca is one of only three recorded in La Liga this term by Sevilla, who head into the Madrid match in 11th place on 12 points.
“The team has to evolve the way we work and mentally we have to have the team able to avoid sinking in tough moments,” Emery added.
“We just took a hit against Manchester City when we thought we could win.”
Madrid needed a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick to claim a 3-2 triumph at Sevilla in May.