London Ready For Champions League Showdown
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Barcelona's legends come to west London on Wednesday to play Chelsea.
The Champions League semi-final first leg will be held at Stamford Bridge, with thousands of football fans from Barcelona making the trip to the capital.
Barcelona are scoring goals for fun at the moment led by the brilliance of Lionel Messi, however Chelsea winger Juan Mata has hinted that the Blues have the potential to pull off an upset. He reckons the big game atmosphere in Chelsea's stadium could be enough to knock Barca off their game and make it 'advantage Chelsea' going into the second leg.
However, if the London club were to go through to the final, it would be against past form. Barcelona have won three of their last Champions League matches with Chelsea, most famously with an eleventh-hour goal to prevent the Blues making the final.
But Mata is hoping that history won't repeat itself, saying he thinks Chelsea have the necessary bus fare to take Barcelona down. And current form would suggest that now is the best time for them to be facing the Catalan legends, coming off the back of handing Spurs a 5-1 drubbing in the FA Cup semi-final.
Mata has been central to Chelsea's revival in the second half of the season under Roberto Di Matteo.
He said: 'I have a lot of confidence in Stamford Bridge. The noise of the fans, being in our home, the first game where there is everything to play for are just a few conditions that will help us and I have the feeling that everything will be fine. Barcelona will not feel comfortable.
'I for one think that playing away for the return leg can be to your advantage. The important thing is to get a good result at Stamford Bridge and play at our highest level.
'We have our weapons for Barcelona. Dead balls are our forte, we have speed, we can defend well and mentally we can overcome any adversity.'
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