Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Stoke hope Torres drought continues

Fernando Torres

Tony Pulis fears Fernando Torres is about to break his duck at Chelsea.

Torres heads for the Britannia Stadium on Saturday without a goal in five Barclays Premier League games since his record-breaking move from Liverpool in January. Stoke manager Pulis believes the Spain striker will rediscover his touch - but hopes that it is later rather than sooner, especially as his side are just five points above the relegation zone.

Pulis said: "Torres is a quality player and it is just a matter of time once he has settled in London and settled at Chelsea he will find his form. The one thing you can guarantee he will start scoring again. I just hope it is not Saturday."

Pulis is backing former Chelsea defender Robert Huth to outsmart Torres, as the German has arguably been the club's player of the year.

"Robert will enjoy it and all our lads are really looking forward to the game. He has been a very good signing for us, " said the Stoke boss.

Pulis believes Chelsea are still in with a chance of retaining their crown, although they are nine points adrift of leaders Manchester United but have a game in hand.

He said: "I saw them against Manchester City and I thought they played really well. They've had problems in the middle part of the season but they still have a great chance of the title. It is wide open.

"They have some great players. (Ashley) Cole, (John) Terry and (Frank) Lampard have been cornerstones of their success over the last six or seven years and deserve a lot of credit."

FA Cup semi-finalists Stoke are unbeaten at home in their past eight games in all competitions and victory against Carlo Ancelotti's side would take them to 40 points and potential safety.

He said: "Getting to that mark would be a watershed for us. We might need more points and that's why it is important to get there as quick as you can. We need the Britannia to be a fortress. The remaining four home games will be sell-outs and the supporters can drive us on. We need these points."