Benitez insists Chelsea taking Europa League seriously

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez says they'll take the Europa League seriously.

Chelsea play Sparta Prague in the last 32 tie first leg on Thursday evening, with Benitez admitting it will take an adjustment for players used to plying their trade in Europe's premier club competition.

"We will need some time (to talk)," said Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo in November after the holders were knocked out of the Champions League.

"In terms of flights and games it's like the Champions League, in terms of mentality, the first thought is 'hmm, it's different'.

"But if you see the teams that are in the Europa League, you will see it could be quite difficult.

"The day before we will fly, we will be there, they will realise it's Europe and they can concentrate 100%. I'm expecting that they will be focused.

"We will have to start thinking of it as a great competition, with good teams and we will try to do our best."

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