Barcelona and Real Madrid renew rivalries in Wednesday's Copa del Rey final with an eye on more than just silverware and bragging rights.
The two giants of Spanish football will be keen to seize on the opportunity to land a psychological advantage ahead of the Liga title run-in, with both currently trailing surprise leaders Atletico Madrid.
Barca and Real have already met twice in the league this term - Barca coming out on top both times - and their most recent meeting was one of the most explosive El Clasico clashes in recent years.
With seven goals, three penalties and a red card, March's contest surpassed expectations in terms of drama, but both sides would presumably settle for a more straightforward affair at the Mestalla on Wednesday.
Since seeing off Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last month, Barca have crashed out of the UEFA Champions League thanks to defeat against Atletico, while also slipping to third in the table.
They were beaten 1-0 by Granada on Saturday and face an uphill task to retain their league crown - adding even more importance to this fixture.
Real, meanwhile, were able to shake off the defeat to Barca to move into the semi-finals of the Champions League and they remain on Atletico's heels thanks to dominant wins over Rayo Vallecano, Real Sociedad and Almeria in recent weeks.
Carlo Ancelotti was without star performer Cristiano Ronaldo for the latter two victories and, even if his thigh injury keeps him out again, the Real coach maintains that his squad has enough quality to secure a first Copa win since 2011.
The Italian explained to El Mundo: "Cristiano is always missed but the players aren't saying, 'Oh my God, what will we do without him?'
"They have shown confidence and they know how to win without him.
"It is also a very good opportunity for someone to take centre stage in a final."
If the likes of Angel Di Maria and Isco can help cover Ronaldo's potential absence, Real will keep their treble hopes alive in Ancelotti's debut season, while for Barca, the competition now represents their best chance of silverware this term.
Sitting four points off Atletico, the 26-time Copa winners could see another trophy chance slip away if they fail to avenge their final defeat to Real in 2011.
Barca captain Carles Puyol claims victory would offer a "solution" to their recent poor form and also leapt to the defence of under-fire coach Gerardo Martino.
"We're a team and we all accept the blame. It's always easier to attack one man (Martino) than 25 players," he said.
"If things go right or wrong, it's (down to) the team.
"We analyse things and try (to) find solutions. The solution in this case is Wednesday.
"It's an important title against our biggest rival. Hopefully we can bring some joy to our fans after two disappointing results."
In what will be the seventh Copa final between the sides, Ancelotti is able to welcome back Sergio Ramos (neck), although Marcelo (hamstring), like Ronaldo, is a doubt.
Barca skipper Puyol may be required to return from a series of knee problems sooner than anticipated due to the injuries being carried by defensive pair Gerard Pique (pelvis) and Marc Bartra (hamstring).
|Coach: G. Martino|
for Jordi Alba 46'
for Fàbregas 60'
for Bartra 86'
|Benteke nearing Villa return|
|Serie A Preview: Roma and Juventus out to maintain perfect starts|
|J.League Preview: Urawa out to consolidate lead|
|Ozil: I have nothing to prove|
|Ribery still on the sidelines for Paderborn clash|
|Malaga v Barcelona: Leaders sweat on Neymar fitness|
|Ancelotti calls for Real unity|
|Anything is possible under Garcia - Gervinho|
|Agger: Rodgers discord led to Liverpool departure|
|Bundesliga Preview: Shock leaders face Bayern test, Stuttgart visit Dortmund|
|Rakitic concentrating on Barca not rivals|
|Rodwell pleased with fitness progress|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Blanc eyes killer instinct|
|PSG must work harder - Ibrahimovic|
|Stoke have held Crouch talks, says Hughes|
|Sanchez confident Hernandez will thrive in Madrid|
|Wasted chances cost Chelsea - Mourinho|
|Pellegrini hails City´s best performance|
|Schneiderlin out to avoid December struggles|
|Pearson buoyed by form of Leicester front three|
|Van Gaal running out of defensive options|
|Champions League no excuse - Sterling|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: Cerro confident after big win|
|Gentiletti out for six months|
|CONCACAF Champions League Preview: Portland primed for top spot|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Cali rise to the summit|
|Neville slams ´soft-centred´ United|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: San Jose go top|
|Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Barcelona move clear|
|Liga MX Review: Ronaldinho scores on league debut|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Nunez fires again for Herediano|
|Paraguayan Division Profesional Review: Sol de America end streak|
|Serie A no two-horse race - Garcia|
|Venezuelan Primera Division Review: Tachira thrash Tucanes|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Cruzeiro stunned late, Goias crush Palmeiras|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Melgar, Cesar Vallejo win again|
|Toronto FC 3 Chivas USA 0: Hosts end winless run|
|Ligue 1 Review: Pressure builds on Blanc, Monaco edge to victory|
|Al-Khelaifi gives Blanc vote of confidence|
|Mazzarri frustrated by draw|
|Luis Enrique salutes ´special´ Messi|
|Iachini laments missed chances|
|La Liga Review: Barca hammer Levante, Villarreal in two-goal comeback|
|Serie A Review: Zeman denied Roma revenge, Inter held|
|Paris Saint-Germain 1 Lyon 1: Umtiti adds to pressure on Blanc|
|Levante 0 Barcelona 5: Five-star Barca crush 10-man hosts|
|Palermo 1 Inter 1: Visitors´ progress checked|
|Arsenal v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Swansea City v Everton: Both sides looking to bounce back in League Cup|
|Police to investigate after Balotelli abused on Twitter|
|Liverpool v Middlesbrough: Rodgers keen to regain winning habit|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Wahda maintain perfect start, Al Jazira held|
|Real Madrid v Elche: Hosts look to build on Depor demolition|
|Eredivisie Review: Ajax triumph in derby, PSV romp to victory|
|Warnock proud after victory at Goodison|
|Mourinho not interested in Pellegrini jibes|
|Pellegrini slams ´small team´ Chelsea´s approach|
|Bundesliga Review: Leverkusen slip up, Cologne held in derby|
|Martinez rues failure to build on strong start|
|Sewe Sport 1 AC Leopards 0: Kouame strike seals slender advantage|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Derby joy for Dundee United, Celtic held|
|Vita Club 2 CS Sfaxien 1: Hosts seize advantage in semi-final|
|Mixed emotions for Lampard after denying Chelsea|
|Irvine hails best day so far|
|Manchester City 1 Chelsea 1: Lampard denies former club|
|Everton 2 Crystal Palace 3: Howard mistakes cost hosts dear|
|Pearson praises Leicester City spirit|
|Van Gaal laments United collapse|
|Pochettino makes no excuses|
|CSL Review: Evergrande leave it late, Liaoning Whowin edge thriller|
|Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3: Hosts stage famous comeback|
|Tottenham 0 West Brom 1: Morrison gives visitors deserved win|
|Lee claims first Hong Kong gold in Incheon|
|Sunderland v Stoke City: Poyet again up for the cup|
|Ancelotti wants Real consistency|
|Dortmund hit by Mkhitaryan injury blow|
|Inzaghi pleased with Milan progress|
|Monk: Hodgson will be back|
|Pardew: Cisse should not have played|
|We cannot entertain title challenge - Rodgers|
|Bayern Munich v Paderborn: Visitors´ surprise start faces litmus test|
|K. League Review: Suwon close gap on top two|
|Empoli v Milan: Inzaghi eyeing top three|
|MLS Review: Wright-Phillips treble inspires Red Bulls rout|
|Bender: We lacked ambition|
|McInnes unhappy after ugly bust-up|
|Cambiasso impressed with Leicester mentality|
|Valverde: Champions League is not an excuse|
|Simeone wants improvement in discipline|
|Conte keeping tabs on Pelle|
|Marseille deserved to beat Rennes - Bielsa|
|La Liga Review: Real end slump with rout, Atletico share spoils|
|Hart unsure on City future|
|Primeira Liga Review: Quinta inspires first Penafiel win, Braga claim late draw|
|ES Setif 2 TP Mazembe 1: Late winner gives Algerians the edge|
|Inzaghi upbeat despite defeat|
|Victory not ´revenge´ for Allegri|
|Simeone defends Jimenez|
|Ligue 1 Review: Gignac double takes Marseille top|
|Patience pays off for Tevez and Juventus|
|Eredivisie Review: Vitesse drop points again, Dordrecht salvage late draw|
|Serie A Review: Allegri wins on Milan return, Empoli fight back|
|Milan 0 Juventus 1: Allegri wins on return to San Siro|
|Klopp rues Dortmund display|
|Allardyce lauds ´outstanding´ first-half performance|
|Coton Sport 0 Al Ahly 1: Soliman screamer puts Egyptians in command|
|Newcastle earned friends with comeback draw, claims Pardew|
|Liverpool ´nowhere near the standard´ - Rodgers|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Celta Vigo 2: Nolito penalty frustrates champions|
|Bundesliga Review: Zinnbauer stops Bayern as Paderborn go top|
|Lambert to close training ground after bug|
|Poyet blasts lacklustre Sunderland|
|Goals and wins are coming - Dyche|
|Koeman calm after Southampton move second|
|Bruce bemoans Hull errors|
|West Ham 3 Liverpool 1: Hosts punish sloppy Reds|
|Mainz 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: Klopp suffers miserable return|
|Guardiola: Fixture congestion taking its toll|
|Deportivo thrashing answered critics - Ancelotti|
|League Two Review: Accrington thrill on Coleman return, Bury go top|
|Bony ´distraught´ after dismissal - Monk|
|Pardew praises senior players after Hull draw|
|Wenger: Ozil showed mental strength|
|League One Review: MK Dons hit Crewe for six, Swindon crush Sheffield United|
|Championship Review: Fulham woes continue under Symons|
|Scottish Premiership Wrap: Inverness overhaul Hamilton at the top|
|Hughes credits QPR fans|
|Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3: Ozil shines as Gunners get back on track|
|Swansea City 0 Southampton 1: Wanyama leaves it late to down 10-man hosts|
|Deportivo La Coruna 2 Real Madrid 8: Ronaldo hat-trick helps end visitors´ Liga slump|
|Newcastle United 2 Hull City 2: Late Cisse brace lifts pressure on Pardew|
|Burnley 0 Sunderland 0: Both sides await first league win|
|Hamburg 0 Bayern Munich 0: Zinnbauer starts Hamburg reign with impressive point|
|Hosts strike gold on day two in Incheon|
|Redknapp hails Kranjcar quality|
|QPR 2 Stoke City 2: Kranjcar spoils Hughes´ Loftus Road return|
|Howard not expecting European hangover|
|J.League Review: Gamba clinch Osaka derby, Tokushima Vortis on the brink|
|Vermaelen ´getting better every day´|
|Rafael: I want to stay at United forever|
|Ulloa determined to maintain strong form|
|Vidic adjusting to Serie A referees|
|Conte: There is room for a professional Balotelli|
|Mourinho wants tougher sanctions for FFP breaches|
|Milan v Juventus: Allegri returns to San Siro|
|Allardyce lauds in-form Downing|
|Real Salt Lake 5 Colorado Rapids 1: Poor visitors lose again|
|Mignolet "aggressive", says Rodgers|
|´Old´ City approaching dangerous position, says Neville|
|Shakhtar´s Donbass Arena hit by shelling|
|Song excited to face hero Gerrard|
|Everything is normal, says Ancelotti|