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Rafa: Chelsea must be focused

Rafael Benitez says his Chelsea squad must not underestimate Sparta Prague who the Blues face in the first leg of their Europa League tie on Thursday.

Last Updated: 11/02/13 at 23:49 Post Comment

Rafael Benitez: Europa League won't be easy

Rafael Benitez: Europa League won't be easy

The Londoners travel to the Czech Republic on Wednesday for their first European match since being knocked out of the Champions League.

And the Chelsea manager said: "In terms of flights and games it's like the Champions League, in terms of mentality, the first thought is 'hmm, it's different'.

"But if you see the teams that are in the Europa League, you will see it could be quite difficult.

"They must realise it's Europe and concentrate 100%. I'm expecting that they will be focused.

"We will have to start thinking of it as a great competition, with good teams and we will try to do our best."

As for playing Thursday and Sunday while in the Europa League, Benitez added: "Two games a week we can manage, if we have enough bodies.

"In this situation you can't push them too much because they will be tired. The balance is quite difficult.

"The day after a game you have a light training session. The second day is before the game, so you have a light training session. Then you have to play.

"That means when you try to do your tactical adjustments, your preparation, you cannot do too much."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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