Di Matteo hails strike options

Chelsea boss would be prepared to change his formation

Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba: The strike duo have yet to form a successful pairing at Chelsea

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Roberto Di Matteo believes it is 'fantastic' Chelsea have such strong attacking options after admitting he would be prepared to partner Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres up front.

Torres' record-breaking £50million arrival in January 2011 saw former Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti unsuccessfully try to pair the Spaniard with Drogba in attack.

Ancelotti's successor, Andre Villas-Boas, meanwhile, opted for a lone striker and it is a formation that Di Matteo has continued to adopt since taking charge earlier this month.

However, Torres' double against Leicester City in the FA Cup at the weekend has given Di Matteo a selection headache ahead of Wednesday's trip to title-chasing Manchester City.

"To have that firepower in the team, it's fantastic. And we will try to do our best to try to exploit the good form of both."

Roberto Di Matteo

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Drogba is still expected to get the nod at the Etihad Stadium, but caretaker manager Di Matteo has not ruled out pairing Torres with the Ivorian in future.


Asked if he would change the system to accommodate both, Di Matteo said: "If the game requires it, yes. We tried it in the Napoli game.

"It's great for this football club, isn't it?" he added, regarding the selection dilemma.

"To have that firepower in the team, it's fantastic. And we will try to do our best to try to exploit the good form of both.

"It's going to be tough on anybody I leave out. We have a fantastic squad and it hurts to leave players out of that calibre. It's really difficult.

"I can only field 11 positions and the ones on the bench."

Daniel Sturridge also covets the centre-forward role at Chelsea and appeared reluctant to pass to Torres from his position out on the wing on Sunday.

Di Matteo said: "I wouldn't think it's difficult to play for the team. Every player has to put his individual qualities within the team for the benefit of the team.

"We forget that he's a very young player, a very young man, and really this is his first full season with his club.

"He's still developing if you think about it for his age and how many games he's played.

"There is certainly some incredible talent that you can improve and he can make the team help and win more games.

"I think he could play down the centre. He has the ability to play in both positions."