Copa del Rey Preview: Barca renew Atletico rivalry, Sevilla hit the road
Barcelona's bid for a record 27th Copa del Rey crown is sure to be tested by Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
The first leg of a mouth-watering quarter-final takes place at Camp Nou, as Barca and Atletico clash for just the second time since last season's epic title-deciding meeting.
Barca needed a win to secure the league title on that occasion, while a draw was enough for Atleti - a scenario that became a reality after Diego Godin cancelled out Alexis Sanchez's first-half strike.
Atletico's first league success in 18 years meant Barcelona ended the campaign without a major trophy for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
Life looks better under new coach Luis Enrique, though, with Barca having won their past four in a row - scoring 16 goals in the process - since a shock loss at Real Sociedad earlier in January.
Barcelona's latest win, a 4-0 success against Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, was highlighted by Lionel Messi's 30th hat-trick for the club. They remain one point adrift of leaders Real Madrid.
Of those four straight wins, one came against Atletico, with Barca's star trio - Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez - all scoring in a 3-1 home success. Another came in the Copa del Rey's last 16, as they hammered Elche 9-0 on aggregate.
Luis Enrique would love a repeat but Atletico are in handy form themselves, having knocked out city rivals and holders Real Madrid in the competition's quarter-finals last week.
A Fernando Torres brace ensured they drew 2-2 at The Santiago Bernabeu, giving Simeone's side a 4-2 aggregate triumph.
Torres paired with Mario Mandzukic on Sunday and Atleti's new combination looked particularly lively in a 2-0 win over Granada.
Barcelona will be without defender Douglas Pereira for the match, who will miss up to a month with a hamstring problem.
Sevilla have won nine of their past 10 matches and will hope their form continues when they visit Espanyol for the first leg of their last-eight clash on Thursday.
Unai Emery's side have risen to fourth in the league as a result of their terrific run, and they beat Espanyol 2-1 earlier this season.
Elsewhere, Villarreal - who sit sixth in the table - begin their tie at home to Getafe on Wednesday, while Malaga play host to Athletic Bilbao in the other quarter-final.