Chelsea v Basel: Fernando Torres Key in Europa League Semi-Final

Chelsea will continue their incredible late season schedule on Thursday with the first leg of the Champions League against FC Basel.  Chelsea travels to face off the Swiss club in a very highly anticipate match.  FC Basel is coming off their best result in the tournament after beating Tottenham Hotspur in penalties a few weeks back.

Fernando Torres of Chelsea (Flickr Commons)

Fernando Torres of Chelsea (Flickr Commons)

As fatigue continues to settle in for the Blues, their form continues to drop.  For a top tier team in England, Chelsea has been very disappointing in their last five games, losing two and tying one.  While their opponent has only won one of their last five, they have tied the other four.  Their persistence will absolutely cause a problem for a busy Chelsea Squad.

Oftentimes with fatigue comes injury, and Chelsea has been a perfect example of that this season.  Manager Rafael Benitez recently lost two of his top defenders, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole, because of injuries.  While Gary Cahill has a chance to come back against Basel on Thursday, Ashley Cole is still unlikely to travel.  Chelsea’s fatigue and injuries have been unfortunate, but if Fernando Torres can play like he is payed, Chelsea can advance into the Europa League finals.

Fernando Torres hasn’t quite had the career that supporters would have liked since he got to Chelsea, but he has shown flashes of brilliance.  Torres is coming off a disappointing run against his old club Liverpool on Sunday, but as of late, he has been finding the net.

Despite his early season struggles and the incredible play of Demba Ba, Torres is the only option that Benitez has at forward.  With Ba cup tied, Torres has been the main striker for the Blues, scoring four goals thus far.  If Torres can plays at his best, Chelsea will advance to the Europa League Final.

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