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'
|Chelsea and Leicester to play in EFL Trophy as five Premier League clubs refuse|
|Tolisso pulls plug on €37.5m Napoli move to stay at Lyon|
|Ancelotti shrugging off Guardiola´s shadow|
|Uruguay international Lodeiro swaps Boca for Seattle|
|Ibrahimovic will bring United back to where they belong - Larsson|
|Transfer speculation frustrates Aubameyang|
|Willian ready for ´toughest Premier League season in history´|
|Astana 1 Celtic 1: Griffiths hits late equaliser|
|De Laurentiis feels betrayed by Higuain swapping Napoli for Juventus|
|Costa: Chelsea cannot be any worse than last season|
|Wilshere: Xhaka can hold Arsenal midfield together|
|Pato signs four-year deal with Villarreal|
|Higuain sets sights on Champions League after Juventus move|
|Lazio snap up Immobile from Sevilla|
|Batshuayi worth the money, insists Cahill|
|Arnautovic signs new Stoke deal|
|Smith leaves Liverpool for Bournemouth|
|Barcelona insist Arda Turan will stay|
|Andre Gomes: Barcelona suit my identity better than Real Madrid|
|Niersbach to appeal FIFA ban|
|Barcelona agree Mascherano renewal|
|Fernandinho can play in 10 positions - Guardiola|
|Reading´s kit launch is out of this world|
|Ben Arfa: I do not want to be PSG´s star player|
|FA Cup to trial fourth substitute|
|We want Balotelli and he wants us, says Besiktas chief|
|Crowd welcomes Higuain as he arrives for Juventus medical|
|Guardiola warns Man City stars: If you´re not fit, danger is coming|
|Mkhitaryan prepares to prove himself at United|
|Cavani: No pressure replacing Ibrahimovic|
|Wenger vows to keep transfer plans ´secret´ after Lacazette snub|
|Brannagan open to Championship loan move|
|Wenger wants to sign Mertesacker replacement|
|Ancelotti: Bayern´s transfer business done|
|Brisbane Roar sign former Danish international Kristensen|
|Verratti, Luiz missing for PSG|
|Sounders part ways with foundation coach Schmid|
|Mane turned down Manchester United for Liverpool|
|Zidane on Pogba: Until August 31, anything can happen|
|Mkhitaryan driven by father´s death|
|Inter rejected Napoli offer for Icardi, says president|
|Clichy: City fighting fit after Guardiola pizza ban|
|Everton and Burnley win as Hull are held|
|Ajax held by PAOK after Cillessen howler|
|Conte left frustrated by ´crazy´ money in transfer market|
|Neymar makes Barcelona case to Gabriel Jesus|
|Rostov comeback twice for Champions League draw with Anderlecht.|
|Arsenal defender Mertesacker set for lengthy lay-off|
|Conte not selling ´fantastic´ Matic|
|Ibrahimovic keen on MLS and Beckham´s Miami project|
|Neymar: I play for Messi, he´s the man|
|Barcelona reveal details of Andre Gomes deal|
|Suarez bullish over Barcelona prospects|
|Ajax claim Napoli keen on Milik to replace Higuain|
|Totti labels Higuain´s Juventus move ´a disaster´|
|Juventus confirm Higuain deal|
|Pato to Villarreal ´in the final stage´|
|PSG sign Lo Celso|
|Muller: Beating Dortmund will be more fun this season|
|Juventus sign Higuain from Napoli for €90m|
|Pastore: I´m like God in Paris|
|Injured Lanzini out of Olympics|
|Allegri unperturbed by Higuain fee|
|Menezes replaces Bento at Cruzeiro|
|Sporting rejected major bids from Inter and Liverpool for Joao Mario, claims father|
|Pochettino pleased by Tottenham despite Juventus defeat|
|Eriksson: Allardyce the right man for England|
|Mourinho makes United train after stepping off plane from China|
|Hazard can still match Messi, says Pedro|
|Pjanic shows there is life at Juve, with or without Pogba|
|Juventus 2 Tottenham 1: Benatia bags win for Serie A champions|
|Dembele: I am not the Bundesliga´s next superstar|
|Lyon claim €35m Arsenal offer for Lacazette rejected|
|Donnarumma dreaming of Milan captaincy as he eyes long-term stay|
|Robson: Ibrahimovic can match Van Persie´s first year at United|
|Rooney should remain England captain - Eriksson|
|Emery wants new striker at PSG|
|Santos accept Juventus bid for Gabriel|
|Eriksson expects Sweden to try and tempt Ibrahimovic out of retirement|
|Spurs signing Janssen almost quit|
|Leicester stay best for Mahrez - Ranieri|
|Allardyce to take Mourinho cue on Rooney|
|Ings ready to outdo big-money signings|
|Henderson optimistic over Liverpool campaign|
|Allardyce hardened to the challenge of England post|
|Barcelona announce record revenues for 2015-16|
|Moyes enjoys Sunderland win as Palace beat Colchester|
|Stoke complete Allen signing|
|Roma coach Spalletti warns suitors off Manolas|
|Cresswell out for up to four months with knee injury|
|Burnley fan banned by club for racist abuse|
|Dad won´t let me play at the Olympics - Larsson Sr pulls rank|
|Kostic joins Hamburg on five-year deal|
|Tevez: I´d turn down Chelsea and Napoli to stay at Boca|
|Mayoral inspired by Benzema for Wolfsburg stint|
|Allardyce straight into competitive action with England|
|Liverpool, Sevilla fined for Europa League final incidents|
|Barcelona seal Guillemenot signing as part of new Servette deal|
|Niersbach handed one-year ban over World Cup corruption|
|Chelsea and Everton ´still interested´ as Koulibaly eyes Napoli exit|
|´Still working hard´ - Balotelli trains with Liverpool kids|
|Winter breaks, long-ball football and the World Cup: Allardyce in his own words|
|Inter warn Napoli Icardi is not for sale|
|Zanetti wants Simeone back at Inter|
|Stoke snap up Sobhi|
|PSG tougher under Emery - Lucas Moura|
|Totti not ready for retirement - Pallotta|
|Confident Allardyce reveals plan for England success|
|Pochettino to discard three Tottenham players|
|Allardyce: Rooney must wait for captaincy decision|
|Aubameyang: I will only leave Dortmund for Real Madrid|
|Allegri silences questions on Pogba|
|Bruce stands by decision to quit Hull City|
|Pochettino: Not the right time for Argentina job|
|Inter yet to approach De Boer with Mancini exit rumoured|
|Ancelotti trusts me more than Guardiola - Ribery|
|Wijnaldum rejected Everton for Klopp|
|Pre-season Manchester derby cancelled|
|Coutinho excited by ´fast´ Liverpool recruits|
|Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor step into the ring together|
|Mancini coy on reports linking Icardi to Napoli|
|Nolito reveals why he chose Man City over Barcelona|
|Inter 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Icardi absence in defeat fuels Napoli talk|