Mourinho tips Torres to give old flame Atletico the blues
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho expects striker Fernando Torres’ to ignore his love for tonight’s Champions League semi-final opponents Atletico Madrid and earn his team a vital first-leg advantage.
Torres scored 84 league goals for Atletico, his hometown club he joined as an 11-year-old, and remains a hugely popular figure at the Vincente Calderon.
But Mourinho insists he would not hesitate to select the 30-year-old with striker Samuel Eto’o sidelined by a knee injury.
“He is a real Atletico supporter, I would say a big one. We talk abut Spanish football every day,” said Mourinho.
“He is a professional. I have no doubts that the minutes he will be on the pitch he will do everything for Chelsea given the professional that he is. He never hides.”
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is suspended, while Eden Hazard is struggling with a calf injury. Goalkeeper Petr Cech is set to return after missing Saturday’s defeat to Sunderland.
Atletico are four points clear at the top of La Liga and have won 10 of their last 12 matches.
They are boosted by governing body Uefa’s decision permitting them to field goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, on loan from Chelsea.
The Blues wanted Atletico to pay £4.9m for Courtois to play in both legs, but Uefa ruled the agreement was “unenforceable” and sanctions would be imposed should Chelsea prohibit the 21-year-old from playing.