Barcelona v Chelsea

Di Matteo wary of suspension tightrope

April 24, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has urged five of his players walking a suspension tightrope not to worry about the possibility of receiving bookings against Barcelona that would rule them out of the Champions League final.

Ramries Ashley Cole
GettyImagesRamries and Ashley Cole are one booking away from a European suspension

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Chelsea travel to Camp Nou on Tuesday night for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie boasting a 1-0 lead following a hard-fought victory in the first meeting at Stamford Bridge.

Should the Blues avoid defeat they will set up a final with either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich - who play on Wednesday evening - at the Allianz Arena on May 19.

Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Ashley Cole, Ramires and Raul Meireles are all one yellow card away from missing the showpiece should Chelsea advance, but Di Matteo is calling for focus from his charges.

Di Matteo said in the Daily Star: "It is important for us to fully focus on going through and whatever happens, happens.

"We had some of them (Cole, Ivanovic and Meireles) already on the bookings in the first leg as well, so we will just have to play without thinking about it.

"We cannot speculate on the bookings, but I don't think it is going to be in the back of their minds."

The Italian also talked up his side's strength, having overseen ten wins during his 14 matches at the helm since taking over from the sacked Andre Villas-Boas.

He said: "We do have the qualities within this team. Away from home, as we've seen in the past, you need a bit of luck to be able to do well in a competition like this. But, certainly, we have the quality and the squad at Chelsea."