Didier Drogba will have a point to prove to manager Carlo Ancelotti when he returns to the Chelsea team for today's FA Cup fourth-round replay against Everton at Stamford Bridge.
The Ivory Coast international, Chelsea's chief striker for the past six seasons, was dropped to the bench for Monday's Premier League match at Fulham to accommodate Fernando Torres, the club's recent £50 million (Dh297m) signing from Liverpool.
But with Torres cup-tied, having played in the competition for Liverpool this season, Drogba will be back in the starting XI and will attempt to increase the goal threat of the holders, who have not scored in their last two outings.
"I don't know if Didier was happy [with being dropped] but it doesn't matter — every player knows every game is important," Ancelotti said. "We wanted to rotate to maintain his condition and to give everyone in the squad great motivation."
With both Drogba and Torres preferring to play on their own up front and doubts persisting over whether they can make an effective partnership, Drogba could find himself starting on the bench many more times this season.
A good performance against Everton, who are in the bottom half of the Premier League, will give Ancelotti something to think about.
Everton were arguably the better team in the match at Goodison Park, which finished 1-1 after the Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou's late equaliser, and the team is still packed with quality.
Steve Round, the assistant manager, said Everton need to improve defensively if they are to progress. "We will go [to Chelsea] with a resilient attitude and high hopes," he said.
In fifth-round match-ups today, Birmingham City and Stoke City are at home to third-tier teams Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton & Hove Albion respectively.