Real Betis coach Pepe Mel says Sunday evening's short trip across the city to visit Sevilla is even more important than usual as his team want to maintain their current advantage over their rivals.
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In contrast to recent seasons, Sunday's visitors Betis come into the game four points and six places ahead of their city neighbours - a situation that makes it all the more important they do not slip up, Mel told Spanish TV station Canal Plus.
"We have a double responsibility," Mel said. "This game is always important, but it is doubly so now because we are arriving ahead of them in the table. Betis fans think we should stay there."
Such is the expectation among the Verdiblanco support that police were called to control fans queueing for the 1,300 away tickets made available for the game, which quickly sold out when they went on sale on Thursday afternoon.
Mel, a former Real Madrid youth-teamer and striker for Betis, said that the Seville derby was unique in Spain as the clubs were equally matched in size.
"This derby is special for what it means in the city," Mel said. "Here the two teams are very close, like partners. It is not like Espanyol and Barcelona, or in history Real Madrid and Atletico. Sevilla and Betis are two very equal teams when it comes to fans. There is no derby like it."
Mel has fitness concerns over key midfielder Benat Etxebarria, the winning goalscorer in both last season's derbies, after he played all 90 minutes for Spain in Wednesday's friendly in Panama, while Polish centre-half Damien Perquis and winger Juan Carlos are also doubts.
The mood at Sevilla is quite different ahead of the game, but their Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic also said he knew how much was at stake.
"It is a special week, we know that," the ex-Schalke player said. "We are going to prepare with the highest intensity possible. We will go for it. We want to win the game. In Germany the derbies went very well for me. I scored goals against Borussia Dortmund, and we won four out of six, only losing one. Everyone knows what is at stake."
Sevilla coach Michel was highly critical of his players after last week's 1-2 loss at Athletic Bilbao, and Rakitic said he understood and shared his boss's frustrations at the team's recent form.
"We need to change our mentality a bit," he said. "We know the situation - we do not want to talk too much, but change things on the pitch. We have been making lots of chances, but we need to score more goals. It was not just the coach who was angry (in Bilbao). We knew we could win there. I was very angry myself."