Los Merengues started the season poorly and already find themselves eight points behind their bitter rivals after just six matches.
Mourinho was highly critical of the attitude of his players after their defeats at Getafe and Sevilla, but they have responded since then winning four matches on the trot in all competitions, netting 14 goals. That run of good results, including a 5-1 win over Deportivo and a 4-1 Champions League victory against Ajax, has the boss beaming with confidence for the clash of the titans at the Nou Camp.
“I think you can see the players have understood they had to change,” Mourinho said. “They understood they had to be more motivated, to be more focused and that the way the team was, would have led to a negative end to the season.
“It’s a credit to them. They have changed, and in this way it is easier for good things to happen.”
But as much as the Portuguese wants the win, Mourinho insists he’s more interested in how his team plays than getting the three points.
“All I am looking for is continuity more than the result,” the former Chelsea boss said.
“I am worried about the way we play, the ambition, the commitment.”
While Mourinho is trying to downplay the importance of the result, it’s fair to say defeat would leave Real needing a miracle to win the title. It would put them 11 points behind a Barca side who dropped only 15 and 18 points respectively during their title winning campaigns in 2010 and 2011.