Mourinho: There are no favourites
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Jose Mourinho has insisted there are no favourites heading into the first leg of Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola had suggested the Catalan giants were underdogs going into the match, with the in-form Merengues having beaten their fierce rivals 1-0 in last week's Copa del Rey final.

Moreover, Barça have a defensive headache for tomorrow's game as left-backs Eric Abidal, Adriano and Maxwell are definitely missing, while Carles Puyol and Gabriel Milito have been struggling with injuries recently. However, Mourinho believes no team can be considered favourites.

He said: "For me there are no favourites. It's the Champions League semi-final [between] two rivals who know each other very well. Two teams with long traditions, two teams whose players know what it is to be successful, who know how to win things and play big matches.

There are no favourites. It's the Champions League semi-final [between] two rivals who know each other very well.
Jose Mourinho on the Real Madrid-Barcelona tie

"For me there aren't any favourites here. Maybe tomorrow after the match people will say that perhaps one team is slightly ahead of the other, but at the moment before playing the match, my opinion is there are no favourites."

Mourinho also feels that last week's cup final win over Barcelona will have no bearing on tomorrow's game. Real had failed to win in six previous meetings with the Camp Nou outfit and were without a title since 2008, but the capital club brought to an end both of those runs thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's extra-time header.

"We are the same as if we hadn't won the cup," Mourinho said. "It was great to beat them but after the final we were already preparing for the league match against Valencia (which Real won 6-3 at the weekend).

"Each competition is independent of the other and each match has its own story. It's the Champions League. We have to give our best without being influenced by what happened before."