Chelsea`s Fernando Torres celebrates after scoring against Galatasaray during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on February 26 at the TT Arena Stadium in Istanbul.
LONDON: Frank Lampard insists Fernando Torres can fire Chelsea’s challenge for the Premier League title when the leaders face west London rivals Fulham today.
Jose Mourinho’s team hold a slender one-point advantage over second-placed Arsenal and Chelsea’s lack of firepower has led some pundits to suggest they won’t be able to keep pace as the title race hots up.
Blues strikers Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba have scored only 11 league goals between them this season.
But Chelsea midfielder Lampard is hopeful that Torres’s crucial goal in the 1-1 draw at Galatasaray in the Champions League last-16 first leg will spark a goal glut from the former Liverpool forward.
“People have made a lot about Fernando and his £50 million price tag over the years, but I don’t think he has to prove or sit back and analyse too much what he’s got to do,” Lampard said.
“He just has to go out and score goals, and 13 out of 17 European games is the sort of stuff we’re talking about.
“He showed what he can do against Galatasaray, scored a very important goal for us, and got behind them a lot, particularly in the first half.”
With third placed Manchester City in League Cup final action against Sunderland on Sunday, Mourinho’s men have an opportunity to pull clear of one of their main title rivals.
And Chelsea will make the short trip across the capital expecting to take all three points given Fulham’s position at the bottom of the Premier League and Chelsea’s seven-game unbeaten record at Craven Cottage.
If the leaders suffer a shock slip against Felix Magath’s team, Arsenal will hope to capitalise by regaining top spot with a rare victory at Stoke.
Arsene Wenger’s side have won only one of their last five visits to the Britannia Stadium and the fixture has often proved especially bruising for the sometimes fragile Gunners.