Real Madrid might be kissing the league good bye when they play against Sevilla on Sunday should they be shocked by the Sevilla side.
Madrid might be winning the league title in five years as they also target a first La Liga and Champions League double since 1958.
Zinedine Zidane’s men are level on points with Barcelona at the top of the table, but have three games remaining to the Catalans’ two.
However, thanks to Barca’s better head-to-head record, any Real defeat will put the title race back in their rivals’ hands.
The spectre of Sevilla boss Sampaoli adds an extra edge to an already vital encounter.
The Argentine has been fulsome in his praise of Barca’s Lionel Messi and Neymar since moving to Sevilla, which fuelled speculation he could take over the vacant position at the Camp Nou next season.
However, with Barca expected to turn instead to Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde, Sampaoli still looks set to fulfil his ambition of coaching Messi by taking over as Argentina boss at the end of this campaign.
And what better way to endear himself to Messi than by severely denting Real’s title challenge?
Madrid, though, are brimming with confidence after withstanding an Atletico Madrid onslaught to reach their third Champions League final in four years on Wednesday.
“La Liga is the title I have left to win, it would be a special one for me but I don’t want to have to choose between wining La Liga or the Champions League,” said Madrid defender Nacho.
“We have three finals to win in La Liga.”