x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Torres to make Chelsea debut against Liverpool

The Spanish striker says it will be "destiny" that his debut for the Blues will come against his former club, just a week after his transfer, and hopes to score as well.

LONDON // Fernando Torres should make his debut for Chelsea against former club Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, just six days after leaving the Reds in a British-record transfer deal.

The Spain striker angered Liverpool fans after sealing his reported £50 million (Dh297m) switch to the defending English champions by saying he jumped at the chance to move to a "top-level club" after three and half years at Anfield.

Torres said it is "destiny" that his debut for the Blues will come against Liverpool, although it remains to be seen whether Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti starts him at Stamford Bridge following his team's attacking masterclass in the 4-2 win at Sunderland on Tuesday.

"We have to test him (but) if he has no problem, he can play on Sunday against Liverpool," Ancelotti said. "I think he has no problem because he played the last game with Liverpool and played well."

Torres scored three goals in his final four matches for Liverpool, taking his season's tally to nine at club level.

Liverpool hasn't conceded in its last three matches, which have all been wins to lift the club into seventh place - lofty heights compared to earlier in the season when it languished in the relegation zone.

"If I have the chance to play (against Liverpool), I will do my best for Chelsea and hopefully I can score," Torres said. "It is not perfect for me but we will see what happens."

Chelsea also is in good form, scoring 10 goals in consecutive victories over Blackburn, Bolton and Sunderland to retain some hope of catching leader Manchester United, which is 10 points ahead of the Blues. Chelsea is two points adrift of third-place Manchester City, which has played a game more.

Liverpool could hand a start to Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, who came off the bench for his debut to score the second goal in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Stoke.

United takes its unbeaten run to Wolverhampton, which slipped to the bottom of the standings by losing 1-0 at Bolton on Wednesday.

Wayne Rooney got back among the goals with a first-half double in the 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Tuesday and the England striker hopes there are more to come.

"I am delighted to have scored and hopefully I can go on a run now and help the team to win games," said Rooney, who has scored four league goals this season.

"We know it's up to us where the title goes and I hope we can win it."

Arsenal, which is five points behind United in second place, travels to Newcastle and City hosts West Bromwich Albion.

Fifth-place Tottenham is at home to Bolton and will look to back up its 1-0 win at Blackburn on Wednesday that kept the team in touch with the top four.

In other games on Saturday, Stoke hosts sixth-place Sunderland, in-form Fulham travels to Villa, Everton is at home to Blackpool and second-bottom Wigan hosts Blackburn.

Sunday's other match sees Birmingham visit West Ham in a match-up between two sides battling to avoid relegation.

West Ham climbed off the foot of the table and is now 18th after a 3-1 win at Blackpool on Wednesday.