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Guardiola prepared for Chelsea clash

by Staff Writer | Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola, believes his squad will rise to the occasion for the 2nd leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea on Tuesday night.

After Barcelona’s 2-1 loss to Real Madrid, Guardiola conceded the La Liga title and shifted his squad’s focus to next Tuesday’s match the Camp Nou, telling Sport that his players will need to lift themselves up.

“We will see on Tuesday whether we will pass this test, but I think (the players) will lift themselves up and look at the manner of how things will go against Chelsea.

“What happens against Chelsea will mark the rest of our season. Although the guys have not had long to recover, they have had setbacks like this before and risen to the challenge.”

Fatigue and injuries have plagued the reigning European champions, due to playing a staggering 62 matches since July 30th, and many have questioned if they are able to overcome their recent inefficiencies on the attack.

“I have seen the players’ impotence, we have opened up the field, we had opportunities…I think we had more chances than in other matches against Madrid.

“(But) these guys have four years of playing every competition possible and sometimes lack a little freshness. That can happen, especially bearing in mind the opposition.

“The effectiveness (in front of goal) has made the difference in these two games (against Real and Chelsea). But that’s part of the game,” Guardiola added

Barcelona face a tough test in a Chelsea squad who rested eight players from their starting line-up against fellow Londoners, Arsenal, on Saturday.

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