Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is determined that his side bounce back from their dramatic 4-3 Spanish league defeat to Barcelona when they travel to Sevilla this week.
Los Blancos were knocked off top spot in La Liga by Atletico Madrid after losing for the first time in 31 games in all competitions.
Atletico lead due to their better head-to-head record against Real, whilst Barca are now right back in the hunt to retain their title as they are just a point behind the capital sides with nine games to go.
On paper, Real face the toughest task in midweek with all three sides in action on Wednesday as Barca and Atletico host Celta Vigo and Granada respectively.
And with that in mind, Ancelotti believes Real’s reaction against a Sevilla side that have won their last five league games could hold the key to the title race.
“I have said to the players that in general they played well (against Barcelona). They played with intensity and fought until the end,” he said.
“Now we need to forget this game and think about Wednesday, which could be the key game of the season.
“I have said many times that nothing will be decided until the last game of the season.
“We need to fight and react well. We have a very important game on Wednesday and we need an immediate reaction.”
Real will be without the suspended Sergio Ramos and Angel di Maria, so Raphael Varane and Isco are expected to start.
Atletico took advantage of Real’s defeat to move back to the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom-placed Real Betis earlier on Sunday.
Los Rojiblancos now have the destiny of the league title in their own hands, although they do face a potentially decisive trip to Barcelona on the final day of the season.
Atletico captain Gabi, though, believes his side can finish off an amazing campaign in style.
“We believe a lot in this group as a team and we are working every day to be amongst the best,” he told the club’s website.
“We have nine finals left ahead of us and if we want to be on top we need to win all of them.”
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi will be targeting a third consecutive hat-trick as Barca welcome Celta to the Camp Nou looking to move top for at least a couple of hours as both Atletico and Real kick-off later on Wednesday.
The Argentine became the all-time leading scorer in El Clasico at the weekend as he moved onto 21 goals from 27 games against Madrid and also took his tally for the season to 34 in as many games.