Thursday, May 24, 2018

Benitez weighs up strike options

SoccerNews in English Premier League 8 Jan 2013


Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez is relishing the selection dilemma he faces with Fernando Torres and Demba Ba to battle it out for a starting berth.

Recent arrival Ba netted twice on his debut as the Blues ran out 5-1 winners in an FA Cup clash with Southampton on Saturday, underlining his status as a potential threat to Torres’ place.

Ahead of his side’s League Cup meeting with Swansea on Wednesday, interim coach Benitez has refused to be drawn on who will lead the line.

“It is good for me because before I didn’t have to think about which striker to choose. I prefer to be in a position where I can choose one or the other,” Benitez said.

“It’s important to have options, especially if you have two games in four days. We have different options.

“I have an idea who will start. It depends on how they feel and perform. There’s no rule about one playing in this game and the other in the next. I’ve spoken to Fernando a lot and with Demba and they know what I am expecting of them.

“We have now two good players, two good options, and both will compete. I can see everything positive in terms of the team now.

“Talking with Demba and Fernando, they both know they have to compete and play well. It can bring the best out of both of them.”

Torres signed with Chelsea from Liverpool for a club-record fee of 50 million pounds in January 2011.

Meanwhile, John Terry could make his comeback from injury for Chelsea in Thursday’s Under-21 Premier League clash with Fulham.

Terry has been on the sidelines since sustaining a medial collateral ligament strain in a collision with Luis Suarez in a Premier League clash with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on November 11.

He has yet to feature for Benitez, but the Spaniard has revealed the Blues skipper has resumed training and may be given some game time against the Cottagers on Thursday.

“He has been training and we are considering giving him some minutes in the U21 game on Thurs,” Benitez said.

Under-21 Premier League rules allow for three overage players to be included each club’s match squad.


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