Atletico are eight points clear but Simeone used his pre match press conference to calm expectations of a first win in the derby since the turn of the millenium.
“We know the people are excited and we will not move away from their feelings, but we are facing a powerful team, the reigning champions,” he said.
“I have admiration for Mourinho. He is a winner and has shown that worldwide. I went to see him one week when he was at Inter. He is a trainer that I like.
“There are not nine points at stake, but three. We must show we are competitive and play a great game. They are the best opponent possible; they need points, like any opponent coming off a loss.”
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