Barcelona host Sevilla in La Liga on Saturday, as the reigning champions welcome the current leaders of Spanish football.
The visitors are above Barca by a point, but defeat for the Andalusia giants will see the Blaugrana climb back to the top.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Time: 7:45 p.m. (BST), 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Odds: Barcelona win: 7-20, Sevilla win: 6-1, Draw: 5-1
TV: beIN Sports (U.S.)
(Odds via OddsShark).
It's been a strange few weeks for Barca in their defence of the La Liga title. Real have failed to find top gear, and the champions have hit a rare brick wall in their results.
Barca have only one victory in their last five in all competitions, including a shocking 2-1 away defeat to relegation candidates Leganes on the road in La Liga. Leganes have only won twice in the league this season but found the energy to sting manager Ernesto Valverde's superstar collective.
Sevilla were disappointed with seventh last term, but they should fight for the UEFA Champions League places this season after a good start to proceedings.
Andre Silva's arrival on loan from AC Milan has inspired the Seville outfit, and the Portuguese is one of the form strikers in Europe.
The 22-year-old has seven goals in eight La Liga appearances, and he could develop into one of the hottest properties in the game by the end of the season.
Much will depend on the predatory form of Lionel Messi, with the icon only named as a substitute in the recent 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.
Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros has said Valverde must keep Messi on his side in the months ahead.
Speaking to Radio Marca (h/t Amee Ruszkai of Goal), Caparros explained his thinking.
"Messi is like a lion. A lion has to be caressed and you can put your hand in his mouth and he will not bite," Caparros said. "But if you touch his claws, a lion can tear your head off."
There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the legend's potency, as he continues to regularly score goals.
Messi has notched 11 in only 10 games in La Liga and Europe this term, as he continues to be his manager's most important talent.
After winning La Liga last season, Valverde proved the Catalan side could change their managerial dynamics and continue to be winners.
The style of football has shifted at the Camp Nou, but Valverde has been considered a success—until recently.
Defeat is unthinkable for Barca on Saturday, but Sevilla will attack as they attempt to fight fire with fire.
Silva continues to build a reputation for himself, and a winning goal for his team would see his name splashed across back pages in every region of Spain.