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Ancelotti set to pair Drogba and Torres

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is ready to deploy Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres as a pair again - with the Italian reiterating his belief that they can operate together as an effective strikeforce.

Torres' £50 million arrival in January cast doubt on Drogba's Stamford Bridge future, with the Spaniard perceived as a direct replacement for the former Marseille frontman.

Drogba initially found himself playing second fiddle to Torres but there has been a role reversal more recently with the Ivory Coast star leading the line with real vigour.

Of the 15 games Chelsea have played since Torres signed, the Spain forward has only started up front with Drogba three times so far with the results mixed. High-profile home defeats to Liverpool in the Premier League and Manchester United in the Champions League sandwiched a 3-1 win at Blackpool.

Torres has started five games without Drogba, of which Chelsea won three, drew one and lost one; in the seven games Drogba has started without Torres, Chelsea have won five, drawn one and lost one.

The Spanish star broke his Chelsea duck against West Ham last weekend and with the goal under his belt, Ancelotti is ready to send his striking stars out together.

"We have worked with them in training," he said. "It's too early to decide yet but it won't be a surprise if they start together on Saturday.

"When you have good players, you have to try to put them together. Maybe they can sacrifice something of their ability, of their skills, but they can play together. If you are able to do this, I think it is good for the team, to get good results.

"Obviously, today it's too early to take a decision about this because we have another training session tomorrow. But I think it will not be a surprise if they can start on Saturday together."

Ancelotti's side face Tottenham on Saturday, and a win would take them to within three points of Manchester United. Chelsea have cut the lead that stood at 15 points in March and he is determined to fight for the title.

"When we were losing at home to United last month, we were looking at an 18-point gap at the top," Ancelotti said. "But if we can beat Tottenham we will only be three points behind them and that would be fantastic.

"That will be good motivation for us because we need to put pressure on United before their game at Arsenal on Sunday. The closer we can get to them, the more pressure we will put on them.

"United have the experience, tradition and the history to manage that pressure. But we want to keep the Premier League title open until the very last minute. To do that we have to beat Tottenham and then win at Old Trafford next weekend."


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