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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona352645102297382
2Atletico MadridAtletico35264559164382
3Real Madrid352564104327281
4Villarreal351710842311161
5Celta Vigo35169104955-657
6Athletic Bilbao351671253431055
7Sevilla351410114942752
8Valencia351111134442244
9Las PalmasLas Palmas35127164246-443
10Malaga351012133132-142
11EibarEibar36119164656-1042
12Real Sociedad35119154246-442
13Real Betis351011143148-1741
14Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo35718104357-1439
15Espanyol35107183567-3237
16Rayo Vallecano35811164869-2135
17Sporting GijonSporting Gijon3698193761-2435
18Granada3589183963-2433
19Getafe3588193364-3132
20Levante3578203363-3029