Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea to ‘rest’ mis-firing Torres

Rested or dropped, depending on how you look at it. Either way, Fernando Torres faces being left out of the Chelsea team to face FC Copenhagen in tonight's Champions League tie.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti clearly does not agree with the argument that the Spaniard could do with a run-out against the team the bookmakers rate at 1000/1 against winning the Champions League this season.

Without a goal in five games since his record-breaking £50m transfer from Liverpool in January, Torres carries the demeanour of a man who would be only too happy to break his duck.

But Ancelotti yesterday confessed he is leaning towards leaving Torres on the sidelines tonight.

There are two ways at looking at the decision. The first is to suggest that Torres has been dropped, which you could argue would only be what he deserves after going 405 minutes for his new club without yet registering a goal.

The other is that Torres is being rested, ahead of Chelsea's more pressing engagement against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, in Europe this season it has been Nicolas Anelka who has been Chelsea's trump card with seven goals in six games, including both strikes in last month's first leg.

“For us, it's not important. Obviously we want our strikers, everyone, to score. For the strikers it's important he scores, but in my opinion he's played well for the team and done what I asked him to do on the pitch,” Ancelotti said.

“The only problem is that (Torres) is a new player for us and has to know better our kind of play. He moves well and has a lot of chances. He's been unlucky sometimes, but I think he will score

“I want to rotate in this game, but I haven't chosen the team for this game. We have all the players fit and want to use all the players to prepare for this game and for Manchester City.

“I don't think this game is more important compared to the game against City. Both are important games for our future, our season.”

Ancelotti’s desire to keep players fresh for Sunday's encounter with City could see Michael Essien likely to start on the bench, while, at the back, David Luiz is ineligible.

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