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Whittaker: Deserved win at Man City

Stoke 19 hours ago
Read
Apr 9, 2012

Barca boon ahead of Blues clash

Barcelona's El Clasico with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp has been brought forward to April 21, giving the Blaugrana more time to prepare for their Champions League semi-final with Chelsea.

• Kalou eyeing Barca's 'weaknesses'

The high-profile Primera Liga clash, which takes place between the two legs of the European semi-finals, has been moved from Sunday to Saturday by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

Barcelona travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League meeting three days earlier on Wednesday April 18, with the return fixture on Tuesday April 24.

The rescheduling of El Clasico to the Saturday by the RFEF has given defending European champions Barca an extra day to recover.

Chelsea will also play on the Saturday before the second leg, but the English team's efforts to rearrange their FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham on the Sunday prior to the first leg fell on deaf ears.

Blues boss Roberto di Matteo said: "I'm very disappointed that common sense hasn't prevailed in this. Obviously, they [the FA] didn't take into consideration anything that we said.

"Barca will have one more day to recover than us and it might give them a little advantage."

Meanwhile, Madrid face Bayern Munich in the other semi-final on April 17 and 25.

A statement on Madrid's website read: "Real Madrid will face Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Saturday, April 21 at 2000 in the 35th round of the season."

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