Betting Special: The curious case of Fernando Torres

Rafael Benitez's arrival may not be popular but many Blues fans will hope to see a change in form for the 28-year-old stiker as a result. Jim Knight takes a look at the odds
If it was confidence that Fernando Torres needed after a stuttering start at Stamford Bridge, it would be reasonable to expect that finishing as joint-top scorer at Euro 2012 - including a goal in the final - twinned with a Champions League triumph, including an iconic goal at Camp Nou, would have done the trick.

The early signs were good. Two goals in his first three Premier League games followed a finish in the Community Shield that suggested Torres might be back to something approaching his best.

But, it seems that was a false dawn. In the 22 games for club and country that followed the 2-0 win over Newcastle, Torres has scored four times.

As a result, bet365 make him a 6/5 (2.20) shot to score at least 12 goals in this Premier League season and 8/13 (1.62) not to.

It is not just his lack of goals that is a concern though. Torres is also clearly not as quick as his Anfield glory days - perhaps a somewhat understandable criticism - but his movement is not nearly as adventurous, as new boss Rafael Benitez pointed out following his first game in charge.

But Benitez did get the best out of Torres at Liverpool and many suspect he may be able to significantly improve his fortunes once again. This could make bet365's line of 12 goals look very low come May, especially considering he has the creativity of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar behind him. With four goals already, just eight more are needed to land this bet as a winner at 6/5 (2.20).

The problem seems deeper rooted than physical attributes or the chances presented to him though. Torres has the look of an animal being sent out into the wild after a spell in a zoo. He looks lost at times, struggling to remember his free-scoring days in red.

With four Premier League goals to his name and a potential 22 games to go, a valid case could be made for backing either side of the 11.5 goal line provided by bet365. Some will argue an astronomical transfer fee is partly to blame, but his goalscoring problems were present before his big money move. So could Benitez be the answer?

The good news for overs backers is that if the problem is mostly psychological then yes, he could be. As Jonathan Wilson recently highlighted on, Benitez has a lot of work to do on the way Chelsea approach the game, and as well as defensive solidity, getting Torres scoring regularly will be one of his top priorities.

Daniel Sturridge is the only credible replacement to lead the Chelsea line at present, at least until January, and it seems unlikely Roman Abramovich will cut his losses on Torres. At least not yet.

So while Benitez struggles to win over the Chelsea faithful, getting the £50 million man firing could go a long way towards getting the crowd on his side. With plenty of games left to go, it seems a better value proposition to be on the taking the line of over 11.5 Premier League at a tempting price of 6/5 (2.20) with bet365 here.

You can find this bet in the antepost section of bet365's football markets, under the heading "Speicals"

Fernando Torres to score over 11.5 Premier League goals this season at 6/5 (2.20) with bet365

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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast

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