This weekend in the Andalucian capital the pressure is well and truly on as the Seville derby takes centre stage in La Liga. A derby often overlooked by outsiders in favour of El Clasico, make no mistake about it, the Seville derby is one of the most fierce footballing rivalries in world football.
Sevilla were formed in 1905, but in 1907 when the board refused to allow working class to play for the club, some members separated and formed their own club in the city, now known as Real Betis. And the rest, as they say, is history. With less than two kilometres separating the two grounds, the city is divided in half. The first question on people's lips in the city is, are you a Sevillista or a Betico? Like football or not, everyone is one or the other, it's a religion.
This weekend's fixture holds even greater importance for both sides, with Betis propping up the table and Sevilla struggling to get going in Unai Emery's first full season in charge, the result could determine either Coach’s fate.
Following Betis’ outstanding League campaign last season, which saw them earn a spot in the Europa League, Los Verdiblancos have failed to juggle both competitions so far this season. Pepe Mel's side have only registered two wins this term, both at home, and are without a win in six League games. The side's awful away form has contributed to their downfall, picking up just one point on the road from six games. Discontent is rising at the Benito Villamarin, with some fans so unhappy, they even invaded a training session to voice their feelings.
A bad result in the derby could be the tipping point for the board and fans, but a positive result could prove to be a turning point in their season. What is certain is that with their current away form, it won't be an easy task entering the back yard of their fierce rivals with 45,000 raucous fans making their lives hell for 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, across the city, things are by no means rosy at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The glory days of Sevilla are well and truly over for now and after a dismal start to last season, Michel was relieved of his duties and the club appointed Emery in a bid to get them back on track and in Europe. Due to other teams’ misfortunes the club did manage to claim a Europa League spot, despite finishing ninth.
This wasn't enough to keep their top players though, and due to financial difficulties the side lost the likes of Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo in the summer. Money was put back into the squad though, and hopes were reasonably high with the experienced boss in charge. Things haven't got going though for Los Rojiblancos. The side endured a torrid start to the season, not winning until their sixth time out, but have picked up a little since and will hope their first win on the road last time out will kick start their season.
However, sitting 11th in the table and with a board who are not afraid to make changes at the top, Emery's position is by no means safe. There were rumours last time out that a defeat could spell the end for him, and like Mel, a bad result in the derby may not be tolerated by those above him.
With the result paramount to both sides, what we can expect is a traditional Seville derby full of passion. One thing is for sure, this game rarely disappoints. Sevilla let a three goal lead slip at Betis last year to draw 3-3, whilst Betis will be looking to bury the demons of last year's 5-1 drubbing at Sevilla. A defeat for either this time and it looks as though one manager’s future will be determined on Sunday evening in the Pizjuan, adding even more spice to an already scintillating tie.