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Rakitic wary of Sevilla away-day slump

Unai Emery's side ended a winless run on the road stretching back more than a year when they beat Espanyol last month, and followed it up with a 2-1 victory at Granada on Sunday.

A home win over city rivals Real Betis in between has lifted Sevilla up to eighth in La Liga and Croatia international Rakitic is keen to use the momentum going into the mid-season break.

"Now we are playing to improve further and to take another step forward, as every team does, including the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid," he said.

"After a while not winning away, we have now won twice in the last two attempts. But, nobody can relax.

"The derby win over Betis was very important for the following the game against Granada, because with these victories, the fans are going crazy.

"We are happy with how things are going but we have to continue as we are so as to continue experiencing this.

"Last year we had a slump and we do not want that to happen again. With an eye on what happened last year, we have to remain focused."

Rakitic has made 14 appearances in the league this season, scoring seven goals.