‘We have to show the identity which this team has’: Diego Simeone wants Atletico Madrid players to show true colours and set up a thrilling title race by beating Barcelona

Diego Simeone called on his Atletico Madrid side to show their true colours when they face La Liga leaders Barcelona on Saturday in 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 Nou Camp.

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 Nou Camp (actually) makes me very optimistic,’ Simeone told reporters on Friday.

‘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 Champions League by Juventus in the last-16, their hopes of glory this season are pinned on winning La Liga.

Spirits were high in training on Friday as Simeone’s team looked to fine tune their preparations.

Alvaro Morata appeared in good spirits despite looking almost certain to miss the tie with an ankle injury picked up in Tuesday’s 2-0 win at home to Girona.

Diego Costa looked sharp during the session and Atletico will need the former Chelsea striker to fins himself in form against the league leaders if they are going to present any troubles to Barcelona’s defenders.

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