Real Madrid v Sevilla: 3 things that will shape the outcome of La Liga game

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Real Madrid remain two points behind leaders Barcelona with the games running out. Sevilla and Valencia are two of their last four games and they don't come much tougher, as Barca themselves found out just over a week ago.

The Andalusians were worthy winners against Los Blancos last season, and on current form will give Carlo Ancelotti's men another test of their title credentials. Let's take a look at three things that will shape the outcome of this one.

Sevilla's home record

The last team to beat Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan were Barcelona, some 14 months ago. When the Catalans came to town just recently, at 2-0 up and cruising it looked likely that the Blaugrana would become the first team since themselves to inflict another defeat on their hosts.

However, Unai Emery's side are just a little bit better than that and a magnificent effort deservedly saw them back in the game, which if luck had've been on their side, they would've gone on to win. It will take a monumental effort for Real to come away with all three points, something that they need to do in order to stay right in the title race.

Ancelotti holds the aces

Real have already beaten Sevilla twice this season. Once at the Santiago Bernabeu and once in the European Super Cup final. On both occasions they were worthy winners and tactically Carlo Ancelotti won the battle hands down.

Whilst this match will be anything but an easy ride for Real, the Italian will know exactly what type of game to play to frustrate the hosts and the longer the game goes with Real either level or ahead, the easier his game plan will be to implement.

Now utilising the full depth of his squad, after much pressure from media, staff and fans alike, Ancelotti will have plenty in reserve when required.

Ramos in midfield again

Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid have proved to be a fearsome opponent for Real over the last couple of seasons. Yet Ancelotti's switch of Sergio Ramos in midfield during their last, Champions League, encounter, saw the Rojiblancos almost moribund as an attacking outfit.

Ramos' combative and competitive nature meant the more skilful Atleti midfielders such as Koke had little time on the ball and within which to effect proceedings. He'll certainly prove to be a formidable barrier in front of Pepe and Raphael Varane, and will give the middle of the park some bite.

His tackling excellence and quick distribution to James Rodriguez and the front players are likely to be key to the outcome of this game.

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