FA Cup Betting: Can Chelsea ignore Torres?
Drogba's record in FA Cup finals is exceptional.
Going into the FA Cup Final, will Chelsea find a way to select both goal-scorers Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres in its effort to beat Liverpool?
Roberto Di Matteo has made his feelings on the matter very clear, putting his trust in Didier Drogba in both legs of the semi-final with Barcelona, as well as against Tottenham at Wembley.
And the Ivorian didn't disappoint, scoring twice and leaving his mark on several defenders in the process.
What's more, Drogba's record in FA Cup finals is exceptional. The 34-year-old has netted in all three of his cup final appearances for Chelsea, twice scoring the decisive goal. He netted the winner against Portsmouth in 2010, scored the equaliser in a 2-1 win over Everton the previous year and downed Manchester United in 2007 with the game's only strike in extra time.
All in all, Drogba makes a compelling case, but with confidence suddenly pouring back into Torres, can the Spaniard force his way into Di Matteo's plans? Well, amazingly, in terms of goals, there's actually nothing to choose between them. Sunday's treble against QPR took Torres' tally for the season to 11, matching Drogba's goal haul for the Blues this term.
But last night's home defeat to Newcastle arguably provided the biggest clue yet that Drogba will get the nod at Wembley. Di Matteo made six changes to the side that hit six at the weekend, handing rests to big guns Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and the Ivorian frontman. Though Drogba eventually joined Torres on the hour, it seems hugely unlikely that Torres will start from the off again in just two days' time.
That being said, there's no reason to discount the Spaniard altogether. After all, it didn't exactly take him too long in the Nou Camp to make his presence felt. Moreover, Torres has probably enjoyed his best moments this term in cup competitions, notching five times in the knockout format. And not that he should need any additional incentive to score, lining up against his former employers makes this all the more intriguing.
Can the pair inspire Chelsea to victory?
Chelsea are 1.74 to win on Saturday.