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
1Atletico Madrid385190
2Barcelona386787
3Real Madrid386687
4Athletic Bilbao382770
5Sevilla381763
6Villarreal381659
7Real Sociedad38759
8Valencia38-249
9Celta Vigo38-549
10Levante38-848
11Malaga38-745
12Rayo Vallecano38-3443
13Espanyol38-942
14Getafe38-1942
15Granada38-2541
16Elche38-2040
17Almeria38-2840
18Cordoba000
19Deportivo La Coruna000
20Eibar000