Roberto Di Matteo open to pairing Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres for Champions League final

 

Roberto Di Matteo has revealed he had Saturday's Champions League final in mind when he paired Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres in Chelsea's win over Blackburn.

Drogba and Torres both came off the bench in the Blues' last Barclays Premier League game of the season yesterday, linking up for the final 21 minutes of the 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Caretaker manager Di Matteo has never started the strikers in tandem since taking charge just over two months ago but confirmed he had been looking at potential options for this weekend's showdown with Bayern Munich during the 2-1 win over relegated Rovers.

"I tried a few things to just have a look and see how it could work out," he told Chelsea TV.

"It's always difficult because obviously it's going to be a different opposition.

"But I've been trying to figure out a few things."

Drogba and Torres being in the same XI would have been unthinkable before Chelsea's Champions League semi-final triumph against Barcelona.

The received wisdom is that they do not work as a duo, with neither having found the net in five starts together or on the 19 other occasions they have been on the pitch at the same time.

It is still unlikely Di Matteo would gamble on that changing in what is the biggest game of his life, but with four players suspended and three potential injuries for Saturday's clash at the Allianz Arena, it is not impossible.

Drogba appears certain to start what is looking increasingly like his farewell match for Chelsea, with Juan Mata and Salomon Kalou in support, leaving a vacancy for one of Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge or Torres.

Lampard may well be earmarked for a holding role alongside John Obi Mikel, Malouda is sweating on a hamstring injury picked up yesterday, while Sturridge has been out of sorts since the turn of the year.

Torres, who has an impressive 18 assists this season, could therefore be a contender to play on the right side of attack, presuming Di Matteo does not also suddenly abandon the 4-2-3-1 formation that has served him so well since his appointment.

The Italian's selection will also depend on the availability of injured centre-backs David Luiz and Gary Cahill, with captain John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic both suspended.

Terry signed off for the season yesterday by heading in his seventh goal of the campaign, one shy of his personal record.

"I am delighted with seven," he said.

"I rose up and it was a decent header, I was delighted with it, and I was pleased with the performance as a whole."

Terry, who was heavily criticised for his performance in Tuesday's 4-1 thrashing at Liverpool, added: "It's always good to end the league season with a win, especially bouncing back after Liverpool in the week as well.

"Now we go into a huge week and we can start concentrating on Munich.

"Robbie has rested players, hopefully we will have everyone fit, and those of us that are suspended have been playing games and we still have a big part to play this week in training and preparation."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean is also jetting off this week as he travels to India for a debrief with the relegated club's owners in the wake of their miserable season.

He could be beaten to Pune by a petition that has been set up by Rovers fans demanding his removal as manager, which will be sent when it reaches 5,000 signatures.

The much-maligned Kean, who was resigned yesterday to losing some of his top players, was defiant about his own chances of staying and beginning the task of rebuilding at Ewood Park.

He said: "We find ourselves in a level below. We need to add quality and depth to make sure we are competitive."

PA

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine