Chelsea vs. Barcelona: Pre Match Linkfest

This photo came up when I searched 'Barcelona Chelsea', and I imagine it's Drogba practicing his best evil look for the game.

Chelsea vs Barcelona is a big match - the teams have acrimonious history, and a lot is at stake. There's been a lot of quotes flying around from players, managers and the media, so this is an attempt to round up all the meaningful chatter so you can get all the news, pre match banter and analysis and build up the excitement for our clash with the Catalans. Links after the jump...

Players

On the official website, Didier Drogba has been telling us what we all know - that he loves the big occasion - while Lampard has also been previewing the game at the bottom of this interview. Also on the official website is Pat Nevin's regular column, who takes a personal, light hearted approach to previewing our big game. Ashley Cole praised Barca but made sure to point out the Blues can actually, in contrast to common opinion, win, while Juan Mata, who makes a really good effort of trying to connect with his [many] fans, answers a few questions on his YouTube page ahead of the semi final.

In the Barca camp, Dani Alves has been making noises, which is really annoying in itself, because the right back made all the talk about transferring to the 'club of his dreams' Chelsea before suddenly switching that allegiance to Barcelona back in 2008, so now it's really hard to take him seriously. He's mainly been saying how amazing Barca is - thanks, Dani - and trying to give the squad a psychology lesson while he's at it. Mascherano, who is most likely to play centre back on Wednesday night, has called for the team's focus. Barcelona have also announced the 22 man squad that travelled to London, which you can find here.

Managers

Di Matteo is having a press conference today ahead of the semi, but he's already released a few comments to the press regarding injuries and such post-match Tottenham.

'David Luiz picked up a hamstring injury so we'll have to have a look at him but he looks to be doubtful.
'Terry should be able to play again on Wednesday. The boys are looking quite fit at the moment. It's always a matter of seeing how they are after the games and assessing each individual player for the game.

Media

It's mainly been a Barca love in with the media, with the Telegraph in particular spilling their love for the Catalans across their pages, while Gary Neville says over at Goal.com that Barca have 'redeveloped football'

While everyone's tipping Barca, Gregg Roughley of the Guardian has given five reasons why Chelsea can win the semi. There's also a bit of selection debates going on, with a Torres argument here and a Drogba argument here, while Martin Keown at the Mail highlights the hidden role of Alexis Sanchez.

P.S The best place to keep informed on Barca developments is the SB Nation blog Barca Blaguaranes and the Twitter feed @barcastuff

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