Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Torres or no Torres? Either way, it’s a huge gamble for Chelsea

Chelsea still hurt from Moscow in 2008. And, bluntly, aside from qualifying for the Champions League, they’ve nothing else to play for.

Carlo Ancelotti has a huge selection call to make. While a draw was probably all his team merited at Stoke at the weekend, ending hopes of keeping their league title, he went with Drogba and Anelka: the old firm and Drogba played well. Torres was introduced only as substitute and still scratches around for form.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard HAS form against Manchester United and, in particular, against Nemanja Vidic. Since he was bought overwhelmingly by Abramovich to meet his craving for the Champions League crown, dare Ancelotti leave Torres out of the starting eleven? And, since it seems the coach prefers a Torres/Anelka duet to one featuring Torres and Drogba, will Drogba be dropped to the bench?

United’s selection may be conditioned by injured absentees though I won’t be surprised in the slightest if Rio Ferdinand figures: Mourinho isn’t alone in telling porkies.

I take Chelsea to win the first leg though not in a manner that would leave little to play for in a week’s time at Old Trafford.

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