Camp Nou, April 5: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone called on his side to raise the bar when they face La Liga leaders Barcelona on Saturday (April 6) in what could potentially be a crucial title clash.
Barcelona hold an eight-point lead over second-placed Atletico, which would be reduced to five if the visitors can win at the Camp Nou.
Atletico, however, have never beaten the Catalans in the top flight since Simeone took charge in December, 2011.
"That we've never won at the Camp Nou (actually) makes me very optimistic," Simeone said during the pre-match press conference.
Has the 2018-19 season been a huge missed opportunity for Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid?@JoeWright004 has looked deeper ahead of their clash with Barcelona in #LaLIgahttps://t.co/Wc8Ml9HlRO pic.twitter.com/5QkYYmtkt4— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) April 5, 2019
"If we win tomorrow and then we don't win the next games, it counts for nothing. Tomorrow we have to show the identity which this team has."
After Atletico were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Juventus in the last 16, their hopes of glory this season are pinned on winning La Liga.
Ernesto Valverde and Diego Simeone's teams drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture last November - with Diego Costa and Luis Suarez on the scoresheet - but Atletico really need the three points this time.
(With Agency inputs)
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou Stadium
Sunday, April 7, 12.15 am IST
Live on Sony TEN 2/ Facebook