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Barcelona v Chelsea Preview

Barcelona won’t be taking any chances when Chelsea come visiting at the Stamford Bridge tomorrow for their return leg of their semi final Champions League fixture.

The Catalan giants who lost for the first at home this season to Real Madrid over the weekend, will be like wounded lions against a confident Chelsea side who carry a slender 1 goal advantage into tomorrow’s match

“We have to congratulate Madrid for their win and the title that they have also won tonight,” Guardiola said.

“We created chances but it was not our night, sometimes that happens against such a good opponent as Madrid.”

After seeing his side lose to Real Madrid on Saturday, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has conceded the title to Madrid and turned his focus to their fixture with Chelsea tomorrow.

“We’re not going to retain the league title, and now we have to focus on the Champions League,”

“We have to find the way to attack Chelsea, and we have to try and forget today’s (Saturday’s) game.”

Of course, there will be a lot at stake tomorrow for both teams as they seek a spot in the finals. However what is of greater concern for both managers is the ineligibility of key players for both sides in the event of a securing a May 19th final date against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

Defence stalwart and Barcelona captain Carles Puyol together with Javier Mascherano are in danger of missing the final should they get booked tomorrow night.

Chelsea on the other hand could miss the services of Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires should they pick up yellow cards. My prediction is a 2-1 win for Barca with Chelsea progressing to the finals on the away goals advantage.

Meanwhile, UEFA has appointed Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir to officiate tomorrow’s game. The 35 year old has also been selected as one of the 12 referees who will officiate at the Euro tournament this summer whilst also being nominated by FIFA as one the referees to be considered for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.