Javier Mascherano: Focus on Chelsea, not Real Madrid

Javier Mascherano
© PA Photos
Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano urges his teammates to focus on Wednesday's Champions League semi-final against Chelsea and not next weekend's La Liga showdown with Real Madrid.

Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has urged his teammates to focus on Wednesday's Champions League semi-final against Chelsea and not next weekend's La Liga showdown with Real Madrid.

The Catalan club travel to Stamford Bridge in midweek for the first leg of their last-four tie against the Premier League side.

However, they would be able to cut Madrid's domestic lead down to a point with victory at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Despite the busy schedule, Mascherano believes that his team's focus should only be on their next match.

"The main thing right now is Wednesday's match. Afterwards, we'll think about the league and Real Madrid," the Argentine told reporters.

"We're in a Champions League semi-final and we have a great opportunity to reach the final. It would be a really big mistake to focus on Real Madrid first, because Wednesday's match is very difficult and will go a long way to deciding the tie.

"It'll be a really difficult tie that will depend a lot on getting a good result in the first leg against a team that has always been characterised by their tremendous physical strength, and which has some really experienced players."

Barca are bidding to become the first club to retain the Champions League trophy following its rebranding in 1992.

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Tables
TeamPGDPTS
1Real Madrid123530
2Barcelona122428
3Atletico Madrid121126
4Valencia121324
5Sevilla12323
6Malaga12321
7Celta Vigo12520
8Villarreal12318
9Athletic Bilbao12-315
10Getafe12-714
11Rayo Vallecano12-914
12Eibar12-613
13Levante12-1712
14Espanyol12-411
15Granada12-1111
16Real Sociedad12-410
17Almeria12-510
18Deportivo La Coruna12-910
19Elche12-1210
20Cordoba12-107