After a shaky start to Ronald Koeman's first full season at the helm, a previously uninspired Barcelona side may have finally found their form in La Liga. But it may well be too little too late for the Catalonian outfit.
Following an impressive upturn of five successive league victories, Barca sit second in the table. Ten points behind Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid and ahead, on goal difference, of bitter rivals Real Madrid in third-placed.
Last season, the Camp Nou natives finished the campaign trophyless for the first time in over decade. Should they endure another period of inconsistency, they are at great risk of carrying this uncharacteristic drought through to a second season.
Next up for Koeman's side is a visit to the Benito Villamarin Stadium on Sunday to face Manuel Pellegrini's Real Betis. Given their recent performances in the fixture, they will be relishing the trip to Seville.
The home side are no pushovers, though, currently sitting 7th in the league under the former Manchester City boss. Betis will be eyeing a finish in the Europa League places come the summer, but Koeman's side will be confident they can get the job done at the weekend.
Planet Sport take a closer look at the lengthy, high-scoring history between two great teams of Spanish football.
Barcelona have a 60% overall win ratio against Betis, boasting 73 wins and scoring 279 goals with Manuel Pellegrini's side winning 26 and scoring 132. There have been 22 draws between the two sides.
Barcelona have only been defeated once by their opponents in all competitions throughout the last ten years - losing 4-3 at Camp Nou in the 2018/19 La Liga season, in that time they have 14 wins and two draws.
Lionel Messi has an illustrious record against Los Verdiblancos, recording 25 goals and 10 assists in 23 games against them since the 2005/06 season, the fourth best record against a club in his career. He is also the fixture's top scorer.
Since a 1-0 win in the 1993/94 campaign, Betis have only kept one clean sheet against Barca, a 3-0 league win in the 2002/03 season, making it over 18 years since their last one. The Catalonians have kept 13 in that time.
Ronald Koeman's side have scored four or more goals in all competitions against their opposition on ten separate occasions since the start of the 2010s. Ruthless.
A tie known for its high scorlines, there has been an average of eight goals in the last five meetings between the two teams.
We've analysed some of these chaotic clashes in greater detail.
Five of the Best
Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis
August 25, 2019
Despite missing Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele through injury, Barcelona brushed past Betis with ease as Antoine Griezmann impressed in a man of the match display on his Camp Nou debut.
It was Betis who grabbed the game's first goal - a well worked team move was impressively finished by Nabil Fekir, slotting the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to put the visitors ahead.
Scoring his first home goal of the season, Griezmann drew the sides level after 41 minutes. A superb ball from Sergi Roberto allowed him a simple finish in the Betis box.
The second half saw five goals, four in favour of the home side. Roberto provided a second for Griezmann five minutes after the break, finding the Frenchman in space who beat Martin Fernandez from outside the area.
Carles Perez, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal finished off a successful first home win of the season in La Liga.
Real Betis 0-5 Barcelona
January 21, 2018
A duo of doubles from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi destroyed their opponents as Barcelona extended their lead at the top of La Liga to 11 points.
After a goalless first half, the visitors put in a five star, five goal display in the second half as they decimated Betis.
The picks of the bunch were the third and fourth goals, an acrobatic volley from Suarez was quickly followed by a trademark moment of magic from Messi for the fourth, as Barcelona's superb South Americans ran riot.
In yet another title-winning campaign for the Catalonians, this tie stood out as some of the very best football that Ernesto Valverde's side had to offer.
Barcelona 6-2 Real Betis
August 20, 2016
In what was a frequent occurrence in this fixture, Messi and Suarez tore Betis apart as they played a part in five of the team's six goals.
Arda Turan picked up where the reigning champions had left off, in just six minutes - tapping in a low-drilled cross from Jordi Alba to give them the advantage.
Barca's second goal, from a long-range Messi strike, was matched by a low-drilled Suarez shot and having assisted Suarez in the 56th, Messi bagged his brace just a minute later in the 57th.
The Uruguayan completed his hat trick eight minutes from time, to the delight of a large proportion of the sold out Camp Nou.
The win sent the Catalonians back to the top of the table with another high scoring victory over Los Verdiblancos.
Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona
February 9th, 2020
In a crazy game in Seville, Barcelona came from behind twice to win. The scorer of the deciding goal was sent off just seven minutes later, immediately after Betis had lost a player, in a five-goal thriller that had everything.
Sergio Canales' scored a penalty to put the home side in front but his goal was quickly cancelled out by Frenkie de Jong just three minutes later.
Betis regained the lead through Nabil Fekir, but Sergio Busquets converted an in-swinging free kick to draw the teams level at half time.
Clement Lenglet scored a 72nd minute winner for the visitors with a looping header as the game concluded in chaotic fashion.
Betis goalscorer Fekir was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 76th minute, before the Frenchman was dismissed himself just three minutes later, as the game dramatically ended with 20 men and five goals.
Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona
March 17, 2019
Making his mark on another high-scoring goal fest in the Benito Villamarin Stadium, both sets of supporters bore witness to a Lionel Messi masterclass of the very highest order.
The Argentinian opened his scoring spree with a delectable free kick, that curled round the wall and inside the front post, leaving the keeper stranded.
In a brilliantly well worked goal, an audacious backheel from Suarez found its way to Messi who slotted home for his second of the evening.
His third and final goal was so glorious that the home fans couldn't help but applaud in unison with the delighted away end.
A superb first-time chipped effort from 20 yards gracefully scraped the underside of the bar and flew into the back of the net. One of the best goals of the 2018/19 La Liga season.
Tip of the Fixture
Traditionally a high scoring affair, Paddy Power are offering 13/5 odds for over 4.5 goals in the game and 6/1 odds for over 5.5 goals.
(Odds correct at time of writing, subject to change).