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Chelsea experience and London factor can benefit us against Barcelona - Mata

Juan Mata believes the fact that there is so much experience in the Chelsea squad, and the reality that Barcelona are not too successful in London, suggests this week's Champions League clash could go in the favour of the Blues.

Chelsea host the Catalan club at Stamford Bridge in the semi-final first leg on Wednesday night and Mata is expecting a solid showing from a wise group of players.

"My team-mates did mention that if there is one stadium where Barca does not feel comfortable and struggle, that is Stamford Bridge, especially in recent years," the former Valencia man said.

"Chelsea's hope is to progress.

"Barca will try to hold possession and force us to defend but we have a lot of experienced players in these type of ties."

Mata was also well aware of the Lionel Messi threat but made it clear that Chelsea cannot afford to solely focus on the Argentine ace who has now scored a whopping 63 goals this season.

"To stop Messi is very difficult," admitted Mata. "He can appear at any time, as was the case this weekend in La Liga (two goals at Levante).

"But we cannot forget that Barca also have other dangerous players."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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