Mikel eager to exploit Barca

Midfielder highlights Pique as Catalan giants' fragile link

Mikel: Confident

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John Obi Mikel has told skysports.com that he expects Chelsea to exploit Barcelona's weaknesses in order to reach the UEFA Champions League final.

Chelsea v Barcelona
7pm, Wed, Sky Sports 2 & HD2

The Blues welcome their Spanish opponents to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday with their semi-final tie poised at 0-0 following last week's stalemate at Camp Nou.

Nigeria international Mikel is confident that Chelsea hold the advantage and has highlighted Gerard Pique as the fragile link in Barca's line-up.

The former Manchester United defender is expected to start in the heart of Barca's back-four in the absence of the suspended Carles Puyol and the injured Rafael Marquez.


And Mikel thinks Chelsea's star striker Didier Drogba will prove too much for Pique to handle, telling skysports.com: "Barca are a very good attacking team, but they will be missing their key centre-backs.

"I don't think Gerard Pique has played in a huge European night in an English stadium which is ready to erupt, and facing the best striker in the world (Drogba) on top form."

Mikel also believes that the midfield scrap with Barca's star assets is also likely to prove decisive as Chelsea bid to reach back-to-back European finals.

"The key will be in midfield, I can't wait for that," he added.

"If we win the midfield battle, we should be fine. We want to play in the Champions League final again."