x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

In Fernando Torres we trust, says Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti

The pressure will be off Fernando Torres as the Chelsea striker aims to score his first goal for the club against Copenhagen in the Champions League.

John Terry, centre, takes part in a training drill yesterday. Clive Rose / Getty Images
John Terry, centre, takes part in a training drill yesterday. Clive Rose / Getty Images
The pressure should be off Chelsea - and their misfiring striker Fernando Torres - against Copenhagen in the Champions League tonight.

A Nicolas Anelka double in the first leg has given Chelsea a 2-0 lead going into the game and a good chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.

But in five matches since his £50 million (Dh295m) move from Liverpool, Torres has failed to score.

"For the strikers it's important to score," Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, said yesterday. "In my opinion [Torres] has played well for the team and has done what I asked him to do on the pitch.

"The only problem is because he's a new player and he needs to know our kind of play better, but I think he will score."

Torres has struggled to adapt to life in the English capital since leaving Liverpool on January 31.

"I do not know London, and have spent time looking for somewhere to live, and it's all been a bit of a mess," he was quoted in the British media as saying. "What I want to do now is settle down, be quiet, stop thinking about other things and enjoy my life."

His teammates have no doubts that Torres will eventually successfully link up with Anelka and Didier Drogba.

"Fernando is great, he is a fantastic, world-class player of a different quality," Branislav Ivanovic, the Chelsea defender, said. "He can give a lot of things to Chelsea. It's difficult at the moment because he needs to adapt to a new club, but the players trust him and he knows he can be important to us."

Copenhagen, who have a nine-point lead in the Danish league, have nothing to lose and will be going on the attack.

"It is stupid to [be] defensive when you're behind 2-0," Stale Solbakken, the Copenhagen coach, said. "If we score they will be nervous. I can guarantee that.

"The key to the game is who scores the first goal. If we do, it will be the inverted psychology no matter how Chelsea has prepared for the game."

Should Copenhagen stage a fightback, Solbakken said "it will be the greatest [achievement] in my football career".

Meanwhile, Alex, the Chelsea defender, is in line to make his long-awaited return from injury in Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester City.

Alex, 28, who has been out since November and was forced to undergo surgery on a knee, trained with the first team at Cobham yesterday after returning from rehabilitating in his native Brazil.

He will not play against Copenhagen, but will boost Ancelotti's defensive options in the long run, especially in the Champions League, for which new signing David Luiz is ineligible.

11.45pm, Aljazeera Sport +3 & +4