Chelsea focused on FA Cup not Barcelona, says Di Matteo

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Experience will help Chelsea - Di Matteo

FA Cup semi-final

Venue:
Wembley
Date:
Sunday 15 April
Kick-off:
1800 BST
Coverage:
Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live

Chelsea caretaker boss Roberto di Matteo says his team are fully focused on Sunday's FA Cup tie with Tottenham rather than the European tie against Barcelona.

The Blues host the Champions League holders just three days later, in their second semi-final fixture of the week.

"Whatever it takes for us to reach the [FA Cup] final, we will do," he said.

But former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle maintains the Italian may nevertheless field a weakened team at Wembley.

"The biggest problem for Chelsea is the Sunday six o'clock kick-off is not very helpful with such a big Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge against Barcelona," he said.

"But it must be running through Robbie's mind to play a weakened team in the sense that one or two key players will be held back as long as possible for Barcelona."

The clash with Spurs sees Chelsea attempt to reach their fourth FA Cup final in six years.

Victory would increase Chelsea's fixture headache, ensuring they would play every midweek and weekend until the end of the Premier League season on 13 May as they continue to compete for the Champions League, FA Cup, and a top-four place in the league.

Speaking about the potential volume of matches, Di Matteo said: "It'll be a very welcome problem - seriously. We want to win and are looking forward to the game.

"We are going to play it at the best of our ability and strength.

"This is a massive game for the players, the team and for the club, and for our supporters. A big, big game for us.

"Nobody will have Barcelona at the back of their minds. We are going to be focused on the FA Cup on Sunday, to try and reach the final."

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has said that the priority for the club is to finish their campaign in the qualifying spots for the Champions League rather than winning the two cup competitions.

Despite the demands on his squad, Di Matteo - who scored the opening goal in Chelsea's FA Cup final victory in 1997 - insisted he was excited about the weekend match.

"It is the period of the season where you play for all the trophies, so we will do our utmost to go to the next round," the 41-year-old said.

"I hope it is going to be a great game. Any time you play at Wembley it should be a spectacle because of the arena you play in.

"It is a dream to take the club you played for to a semi-final at Wembley."

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