Barcelona have El Clasico against Real Madrid at the weekend, but before that both are in action in Europe.
“We want to put the league out of our minds a bit and focus on Chelsea because we have the chance of reaching the final of Europe’s top competition,” Mascherano told the Barcelona website.
“It’ll be a really difficult tie that will depend a lot on getting a good result in the first leg [at Stamford Bridge] against a team that has always been characterised by their tremendous physical strength and which has some really experienced players.”
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.