After advancing in the Champions League and earning three straight wins in La Liga, Real Madrid will be eager to continue their recent good fortune and extend that run. They'll have to overcome a good team with some positive momentum of their own to do it, though, and Sevilla won't be eager to just play into Madrid's hands -- especially because a loss now could prove to be a serious blow to their hopes of finishing in the top four.
Sevilla would normally stand an excellent chance at giving Real Madrid a challenge, but with Ever Banega suspended, plus Yevhen Konoplyanka, Steven N'Zonzi, and Vitolo all out hurt, they're running awfully thin at some key positions. Of course, Madrid don't exactly have a full-strength defense running either, with both Sergio Ramos and Pepe out injured. This game will be won or lost based on who can take the most advantage of the other team's absences -- and that would seemingly give Madrid and their advantage in talent the edge. Anything can happen, though, and this could prove a very entertaining and unpredictable match.
Key player -- Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla)
With Sevilla's midfield injury woes and the stronger play of Madrid's midfield since Zinedine Zidane took over as manager, a lot of weight is going to fall on Krychowiak's wide shoulders in this match. If he can hold down the base of the rojiblancos' midfield well, it will make life significantly easier for the rest of his team as they try to find ways to break Madrid down. If Krychowiak gets overwhelmed and can't get the job done, though, that will pretty much be game over for Sevilla right then and there.
Key matchup -- Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) vs. Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla)
Varane is the only one of Madrid's top centerbacks who is actually healthy right now, and so the task of stopping Gameiro -- Sevilla's top scorer and primary attacking threat with his dynamic style of play -- falls to him. The trouble is, Varane has been incredibly inconsistent this year, while Gameiro has been consistently dangerous all season long. If Varane hits the low side of one of his swings in form in this match, it's going to cause a huge problem for Madrid.
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Sergio Ramos, Pepe
Sevilla injuries and suspensions
Out: Ever Banega, Vitolo, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Steven N'Zonzi, Marco Andreolli In doubt: Michael Krohn-Dehli
Match Date/Time: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, 5:30 p.m. local
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. - English), beIN Sports en Español (U.S. - Spanish), Canal+ Partidazo (Spain), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)
Online: beIN Sports Connect, fuboTV (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.)