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Fernando Torres can help Chelsea win the title, Frank Lampard says

Veteran midfielder says the Spanish striker proved himself against Galatasaray and will play a key role as Chelsea try to stay in top spot

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 10:02pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 11:06pm

Frank Lampard insists Fernando Torres can fire Chelsea's challenge for the Premier League title when the leaders face west London rivals Fulham on Saturday.

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 heats up.

Blues strikers Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba have scored only 11 league goals between them this season.

I don't think he has to analyse too much what he's got to do
Frank Lampard

But Chelsea midfielder Lampard is hopeful Torres' 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 past five visits to the Britannia Stadium and the fixture has often proved especially bruising for the sometimes fragile Gunners.

Wenger was forced to defend himself against criticism of his decision to give Arsenal's players two days off this week, and the French coach admitted he has yet to decide whether to recall Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, who missed last weekend's win over Sunderland with a hip injury and has struggled to reach top form of late.

"Ozil had a difficult game because he missed that penalty, and it was on his mind," Wenger said. "Sometimes when you're under this kind of pressure it's good to refresh.

"My opportunity is just to put the best team out who can win the game, it's not about individuals, it's about the team."

Liverpool, in fourth place, head to Southampton looking to maintain their grip on the final Champions League berth and keep in touch with Chelsea.

Brendan Rodgers' team sit just four points behind the leaders having emerged as surprise title contenders.

The Reds' positive mood was threatened this week following Rodgers' decision to haul off Denmark defender Daniel Agger just over an hour into last weekend's 4-3 win over Swansea.

Agger had been well below his best, prompting speculation that he may be sold towards the end of the season.

But, in a bid to show his support for Agger, Rodgers confirmed 48 hours before kick-off that the Dane would start at St Mary's.

"There has been a lot of spotlight, unfairly, on Daniel this week. What happened to Daniel was no different to what happened to any player," Rodgers said.

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