The time for error and missed opportunities is long past for Barcelona, who will be gunning for three points against Sevilla as they look to catch Real Madrid and capture their fourth consecutive La Liga title. Los Rojiblancos are fresh off a 1-0 loss at Sporting Gijon, while the Blaugrana ran past Racing Santander 2-0, behind two more goals from the magisterial Lionel Messi.
These two clubs played to a scoreless draw back in October.
Where: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville, Spain
When: Saturday, March 17th at 3:00 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN Deportes, Sky Sports 4/HD, Canal+ Liga/HD, Sport TV2, Canal+ Sport, TEN Action+, Canal+ Sport 1, SuperSport 7, SuperSport HD 2, SuperSport Maximo 2, ESPN Pacific Rim, Arena Sport 3 Serbia, Sport 2 Hungary, TV+ Bulgaria
Live Stream: ESPN3
Most Important Player to Watch: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi may (or may not) have a ways to go before he can be considered the greatest ever, but there's little doubt that he's the best player on the planet right now. The Argentinian maestro has already racked up 50 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions, including 30 in the Primera Division.
Don't be surprised if Messi notches another double (or even a treble) against Sevilla, seeing as how he's picked up 13 goals in 16 career matches against Los Rojiblancos.
Key Matchup: Messi vs. Sevilla's Back Line
Sevilla's only hope for victory lies with their ability to contain the incomparable King Leo. Stopping Messi doesn't guarantee points for the Sevillistas, not with stars like Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Alexis Sanchez also on the attack.
But if Sevilla doesn't...well, then they might as well not set foot on the pitch at all.
What They're Saying
Barca suffered a crushing blow on Thursday with the announcement that Eric Abidal will undergo a liver transplant. The 32-year-old French defender underwent surgery on his liver last year to remove a tumor.
Said captain Carles Puyol of Abidal's latest health concern:
"We had a meeting minutes before going on to the pitch. It was a rude awakening. Eric was at the meeting. We then talked to him, and logically that stays in the dressing room.
"It is him who encourages us. His attitude is an example. We are confident that he will come out of this. We will give him all the strength we have and we will support him and his family. I am convinced that soon he will be fine.
"He is very strong, he showed that last season and will prove it again. It's a major blow. We had the news last season and now we get it again. But this will make us even stronger."
Prediction: Barcelona 3, Sevilla 0
No more screwing around for Barcelona. The Blaugrana will take their three points and keep their fingers crossed that Real Madrid trips up against Malaga.