Petr Cech urges Roberto di Matteo to employ twin strike force for Chelsea
Torres and Drogba will run riot if they play in tandem, insists Chelsea goalkeeper
Tuesday 01 May 2012
Petr Cech has urged Roberto Di Matteo to unleash both Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba on Chelsea's opponents in their triple pursuit of glory.
Torres has left the caretaker Chelsea manager Di Matteo with a selection headache for the remaining five games of the season after scoring a stunning hat-trick in the 6-1 west London derby thrashing of QPR on Sunday.
With Drogba also in scintillating form, Di Matteo must decide how to line up in the FA Cup final, Champions League final and three Premier League games.
He must make an immediate decision for arguably the most important of the three league games at home to Newcastle tomorrow night.
For goalkeeper Cech, the solution is simple: "I'd start both. I believe it is possible but I don't know whether it would be done or if it would work. I am sure one day it will happen and there will be goals."
Conventional wisdom has long held that Torres and Drogba do not work as a partnership. The former manager Carlo Ancelotti quickly abandoned any attempt to start them in tandem, doing so just four times before being sacked at the end of last season. His successor Andre Villas-Boas was just as reluctant, with Torres and Drogba in the same XI on just one occasion.
On Sunday, Di Matteo insisted the strikers could play together, pointing out they had done so plenty of times – although he has yet to start both of them at all.
Playing a twin strike force would involve Di Matteo abandoning his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and, although he could fit Torres in on the right, the Spaniard proved against QPR he much prefers to be the attacking spearhead.
The Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, left little doubt who he would rather see lead the line, high-fiving his companions in the Stamford Bridge directors' box after Torres had completed his treble. Abramovich was in danger of being embarrassed by his record-breaking £50m outlay on Torres and refusal to bow to Drogba's contract demands.
The Russian is a long way from getting value for money but the signs are looking much more positive, which also bodes well for Di Matteo's hopes of being appointed manager full-time.
But getting Torres firing will mean little if Chelsea do not qualify for next season's Champions League, something they can take a huge step towards by beating fifth-placed Newcastle. Cech said: "I think our greater experience will be really important on Wednesday because Newcastle are in a position they haven't been in for a long time, only once maybe, and we have been there many times.
"It could be the decisive factor but they and we have everything to play for. It will be an exciting game but our experience will help."
Chelsea will not need to finish in the top four if they win next month's Champions League final against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
But Cech said: "We want to go to Munich and have the sense that the job is done and we can then easily concentrate only on the final. That would be the ideal scenario but we still have to fight for that to happen.
"We enjoyed the win over QPR because we scored six goals, it makes for a good goal difference, which could be important."
It looks easier for Chelsea to win their final three league games than to beat Bayern on home soil, especially with the German giants having only one meaningful game – the German Cup final – between now and the Champions League showpiece.
Cech said: "Bayern can't win the title so the only thing they will focus on is the game against us. We have a few games where we need to win.
"You can never predict what is going to happen on 19 May but, hopefully, it will be a day to remember."
Yesterday QPR confirmed that the midfielder Hogan Ephraim had returned to the club following the completion of his loan spell at Bristol City.
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