Barcelona manager Xavi was full of praise for Sevilla in his press conference ahead of the league clash on Tuesday.
“Sevilla have done very well. For me, they are an example to follow. Their philosophy and idea of a club, their coach. They are role models.
“Sevilla are direct rivals. I think we are going well. We are happy, I think we understand what we want.”
Asked whether Sevilla could be La Liga champions this season, Xavi replied: “Yes, it’s clear. They were already a candidate last year.
“If they win tomorrow, they are three points behind the leaders in the middle of the season.
“When you see how [Julen] Lopetegui works, how [sporting director] Monchi works, for me they are an example to follow. They are candidates to win any competition they take part in.”
Sevilla currently sit six points off leaders Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table.