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Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said that he is hoping that the recovery in form Fernando Torres has been showing in recent weeks will not be displayed when his side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

It is highly crucial match for Newcastle given that they come on the back of a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Wigan during the weekend. It has dented their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League this season, but they can still recover from the defeat provided they put in a good performance against Chelsea.

Fernando Torres looked like his old self in the match against QPR during the weekend. The striker bagged his first hat-trick in almost 3 years in order to continue his recovery from the goal drought he has suffered since arriving at Chelsea. The £ 50 million striker has scored seven goals in his last 11 appearances for Chelsea including the crucial goal against Barcelona during the week. Torres seemed a different player against QPR mainly because of the confidence he got from the goal against Barcelona. However, Alan Pardew is just hoping that Torres will be having an off day when the two sides meet each other.

“Listen, great players very rarely are down for long. I am pleased for him personally. I have been to a few games where I have seen him suffer, and don’t think as professionals you want to see that from a fellow professional. He looks like he’s got a nice smile on his face – I just hope he isn’t smiling on Wednesday,” Pardew said ahead of the match. Newcastle slipped into the fifth position after the weekend defeat at the hands of Wigan. Tottenham, their main contenders, will be having an away match against Bolton.

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Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that he may consider using Fernando Torres instead of Didier Drogba for the crunch match against Manchester City on Monday night.

This is one of the most important match for the London club given that they are trailing Manchester City by huge number of points. Another loss to the Manchester club would mean that they would be trailing by 13 point, which would mean effectively writing off any title hopes. Chelsea faced similar match only a few days ago against Valencia, but came out triumphant in the best possible manner.

One of the main reasons for the 3-0 win over Valencia was Didier Drogba, who looked back to his old self. Drogba scored two goals and set up the other for Ramires, as Chelsea ran back the years. Drogba has been vital for Chelsea ever since signing from Marseille for £ 24 million, but the arrival of Fernando Torres for £ 50 million looked like questioning him. However, the Ivory Coast striker has responded to this challenge by returning to great form just at the right time for Chelsea. He scored in the 3-0 win over Newcastle United, and continued that performance with the impressive one against Valencia.

However, Villas-Boas said there is little separating Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba at the moment. “At the moment, Didier has had his run. Fernando has had his run in the past. It doesn’t mean that we don’t trust his abilities. By the way he’s training, he’s nearer to competing with Didier every time. They are very, very near each other and, again, it’s just for me to decide what’s best for the team,” said Villas-Boas. A win for Chelsea would help them propel past Tottenham in the table into the third position.

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