Ancelotti calls for hard work
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti wants his players to keep working hard as they attempt to claim a share of the Primera Division leadership.
Pacesetters Atletico Madrid and Barcelona do not play until Sunday, meaning Los Blancos will join the pair at the summit with victory at rock-bottom Real Betis on Saturday.
Ancelotti's side are in decent form of late, winning their last four matches in all competitions without conceding a goal, and the 54-year-old Italian wants his team to take advantage of the goalless draw between their city rivals and Barcelona last weekend.
Ancelotti explained: "The most difficult part is coming up and every match will be very important.
"We don't always play fantastic football. We have a lot of matches coming up and to play well in every one of them is not easy.
"But the team is focused, working hard and keen to do well."
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was named the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday, will be aiming to build on his tally of 20 league goals in Seville.
Meanwhile, Betis boss Juan Carlos Garrido is hoping to put the misery of the midweek Copa del Rey exit to Athletic Bilbao behind them and mastermind a long-overdue league success.
The home side are seven points from safety following a run which has seen them fail to win in the league since they defeated Villarreal at the Benito Villamarin stadium on September 29.
However, Garrido saw positives in the loss to Athletic and is hoping they can embark on a run which can get them out of trouble.
He said: "I believe the cup match will have reinforced the team as they have performed well defensively and from an organisational point of view.
"We should come away stronger as the players know they worked well. They were serious contenders, putting up a fight right up until the final minute."