VIllas-Boas: Improving Torres ready to turn corner
Andre Villas-Boas is confident a goal is just around the corner for Fernando Torres as the striker marks the anniversary of his record-breaking move to Chelsea against the last Premier League side he scored against.
It was a year ago to the day that Torres became the most expensive player ever bought by a British club when he joined the Blues in a dramatic deadline-day deal from Liverpool.
Few would have predicted just how badly he would have flopped at Stamford Bridge during the 12 months that followed, the £50million man having netted just five times in 43 appearances.
But despite being in the midst of his longest drought to date, Torres has begun to show signs of rediscovering his form for the first time since September's Jekyll-and-Hyde display against Swansea, when he scored and got himself sent off.
Tonight sees Torres take on the same opponents as Chelsea travel to the Liberty Stadium for a match they need to win to maintain the pressure on third-placed Tottenham.
Manager Villas-Boas said: "I think we are seeing a player growing in terms of form.
"Eventually we expect goals from it, and we hope those goals will come back."
Asked if he would have expected Torres not to have scored again in the league after netting against Swansea, Villas-Boas replied: "That is the reality, but he has been helping the team. Fernando has equally one of the most assist totals for other players in the club so he is producing for the others as well.
"I think he is confident, to be fair. For the kind of effort he is doing, eventually it will be repaid."
Chelsea will travel to south Wales without captain John Terry, who was ruled out after the defender aggravated an injury to his right knee.
The Swansea match takes place less than 24 hours before court proceedings begin to determine whether Terry used a racist slur against QPR defender Anton Ferdinand back in October, a charge he denies.
Gary Cahill is set to make his debut tonight alongside David Luiz, while Frank Lampard and Ramires are both out injured.