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Bullish Guardiola predicts Barcelona victory

Published: Monday 23 April 2012, 21.08CET
Coach Josep Guardiola has vowed FC Barcelona will win on Tuesday, saying, "believe me, we will make it", while Chelsea FC interim coach Roberto Di Matteo is cautiously optimistic.
by Lucy Turner
from Camp Nou

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Tournament statistics

BarcelonaChelsea

Goals scored35
 
25
Attempts on target91
 
82
Attempts off target111
 
86
Corners76
 
52
Offsides37
 
34
Fouls committed113
 
183
Yellow cards17
 
31
Red cards0
1
 
Published: Monday 23 April 2012, 21.08CET

Bullish Guardiola predicts Barcelona victory

Coach Josep Guardiola has vowed FC Barcelona will win on Tuesday, saying, "believe me, we will make it", while Chelsea FC interim coach Roberto Di Matteo is cautiously optimistic.

FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola cut a bullish figure in his pre-match press conference as he boldly predicted his side would overturn their UEFA Champions League semi-final deficit against Chelsea FC on Tuesday night. "I don't have any doubt we will be in Munich," said the Azulgrana coach, whose opposite number Roberto Di Matteo was more cautiously optimistic: "I think we will have our chances to score".

Barcelona
Coach Josep Guardiola

Believe me when I say we will make it. I believe this for hundreds of reasons; these players will beat Chelsea. I know there's a wish for us not to make it, but let us believe we will. All our semi-finals have been very tough and we know the first leg was disappointing, but we can't think about that. I know they will do it tomorrow because I know they can do it. They will play to win. I don't have any doubt we will be in Munich.

I don't know if this is my greatest challenge as coach. I always face challenges with optimism because I have faith in this team and the players. Whenever we lose or draw it hurts for a few days, but with my faith and optimism I know we will do everything we can.

We have to be careful, we know of Chelsea's qualities and we have to find the way to create chances and score goals. We have to think about the way we can get past them, that's the key; to see in what way we can score goals and avoid the dangers of Chelsea.

It's impossible not to be excited about this match. The players are human beings and they want to play well and win all competitions. It's very easy to tell them not to be excited or nervous, not to lose balls, but we have to learn how to manage these situations and they know well enough how to manage these games.

Weekend result
Saturday: Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid CF (Sánchez 70; Khedira 17, Ronaldo 73)
Valdés; Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano (Pedro 74); Xavi (Sánchez 69), Busquets, Thiago; Tello (Fàbregas 81), Messi, Iniesta.

• The Blaugrana's 54-game unbeaten run at the Camp Nou, since a 2-0 loss to Hércules CF on 11 September 2010, came to an end. The result leaves them seven points adrift of Liga leaders Madrid with four games to play and, coupled with the Chelsea reverse, it consigned Barcelona to their first back-to-back losses since May 2009.

Team news
Ibrahim Afellay, who suffered a knee ligament injury in September, is available again. Éric Abidal (liver), David Villa (broken leg) and Andreu Fontàs (knee) are all long-term absentees.

Chelsea
Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo
It's 50/50 for both teams to qualify for the final. We have an advantage but we all know how difficult it's going to be. I think we have to try to score a goal because it will give us a greater chance. It will be difficult to play for a goalless draw. I think you have to make the most of the strengths of your players and of the weaknesses of your opponent.

Barcelona will create chances, they do against every team they play. We have to try to limit the amount of chances they create. We will also try to score a goal because I think we will have our chances. I think we have the quality to reach the final. We do need a bit of luck on our side, but all teams do to win any competition.

Weekend result
Saturday: Arsenal FC 0-0 Chelsea
Čech; Bosingwa, Cahill, Terry, Bertrand (Cole 77); Romeu (Mikel 66), Essien, Malouda; Sturridge, Torres, Kalou (Mata 74).

• Arsenal twice hit the woodwork in a draw that means Chelsea, showing eight changes to the side that beat Barcelona, have won only six of their last 19 league fixtures. It was only the sixth time in their last 26 away matches that Chelsea have not scored, though they are unbeaten in four on their travels.

Team news
Didier Drogba missed the Arsenal game with a knee problem, but Ryan Bertrand (calf) and Oriol Romeu (illness) returned to action on Saturday after minor problems. David Luiz is out with a hamstring injury though John Terry will continue to play, despite suffering two cracked ribs in the quarter-final first leg at SL Benfica.

Match fact
Barcelona are yet to lose to Chelsea in five meetings at the Camp Nou, though the English side have returned to London with draws in each of their last three visits.

Last updated: 27/11/12 5.46CET

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