Juan Mata wary of ‘amazing’ Gareth Bale ahead of top-four showdown

Juan Mata warns Chelsea that they must keep Gareth Bale quiet when Tottenham travel to Chelsea on Wednesday

juan mata
Juan Mata signed for Chelsea from Valencia in August 2011 Photo: The Sport Review

Juan Mata has warned his Chelsea team-mates that they must keep Gareth Bale quiet when Tottenham travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Spurs head to west London knowing that victory will hoist them up into fourth place in the table and level on points with the Blues as the race for Champions League qualification approaches its climax.

Mata, whose deflected goal helped Chelsea to a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday, needs no reminding about the significance of the game and says Spurs must be braced to deal with PFA player of the year Bale, who netted his 20th league goal against Southampton on Saturday.

“We are aware that there’s still a job to do,” Mata, 25, wrote on his blog on www.grada360.com. “This coming Wednesday against Tottenham [it will be] another final. It will be nice to meet Andre [Villas-Boas] at Stamford Bridge.

“Obviously, it’s a vital game for both teams and we will have to watch one of the best players in the world: Gareth Bale.

“He is in an amazing shape and proves to be a decisive player for Spurs almost every week.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate him for all his recent awards.

“So it’s going to be tough, but with the support of the Bridge I think we can make it and seal our place in next season’s Champions League.”

Mata has scored 19 goals and made 34 assists in all competitions for Chelsea this season.

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