The Blancos, beaten at Sevilla in their last two visits, must avoid another loss if they are to sustain their push for the Liga title and keep the pressure on leaders Barcelona
Real Madrid’s title bid comes to a crucial juncture on Saturday when they travel to fifth-placed Sevilla.
The European champions sit second in the table, two points behind leaders Barcelona with four matches to play. Madrid have won six straight Liga fixtures since losing 2-1 to Barcelona, scoring 24 goals in the process.
But they are relying on a slip-up from Barcelona if they are to win the league and a trip to Sevilla provides a tricky task.
Sevilla have won their last two home matches against Real, but defender Pepe insists his side are up for the challenge.
“We have to keep working and fighting to win La Liga,” Pepe told Real’s official website. “That’s the obligation that comes with wearing the Real Madrid jersey – working hard and showing determination.
“Now we have an important game coming up on Saturday against Sevilla and we need to prepare for it well. We are going to fight for the Liga title right until the end.”
Madrid’s latest success was a 3-0 win against Almeria on Wednesday, highlighted by a thumping James Rodriguez volley.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have proven inconsistent on the road in recent times, though, losing three of their last six away games in La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo is going through a rough patch by his standards, only scoring once in the last five matches. But Sevilla will be wary of the man who scored both goals when Real beat them 2-0 in August’s Uefa Super Cup.
Ronaldo was absent for the Liga clash in Madrid earlier this season, which Real edged 2-1.
Sevilla will enter the match in good form, unbeaten in their last nine Liga fixtures. That form has seen them rise to fifth, level with fourth-placed Valencia in the race for a place in the qualifying rounds of next season’s Champions League.
Wednesday’s 3-1 success at Eibar featured two goals for Carlos Bacca. The Colombian has enjoyed another excellent season in front of goal and looms as Sevilla’s main threat having found the net 19 times this season.