Former Blues defender Michael Duberry: Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will make most of Fernando Torres' absence

Former defender tips the Ivorian to form a potent partnership with Nicolas Anelka and bring best out of Frank Lampard against Everton at Stamford Bridge
Former Chelsea defender Michael Duberry is tipping Didier Drogba to make the most of Fernando Torres’ suspension against Everton and prolong the Spanish striker’s spell on the sidelines.

“If I was the manager I would go for Didier Drogba as the first-choice striker because when he is on form he unsettles people,” Duberry told

Duberry is convinced Drogba will be determined to make the most of Torres’ absence when Chelsea face Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and re-establish himself as the team’s attacking spearhead.

“The physical aspect of Didier is awesome when he is on song and running about and he will be desperate to grab his chance with both hands when he gets to start," the former defender explained.

“Defenders are always aware of him and so they know that they will not get a moment’s rest and on top of that he brings the best out of players like Frank Lampard, as Frank’s goals record will show.”

The 33-year-old Drogba has only made five appearances this season after being concussed while facing Norwich City but with Torres suspended for a rash two-footed challenge in the 4-1 defeat of Swansea, the Ivorian can continue to stake his claim for a regular starting slot.

The former Marseille striker was handed a first-team place for the first time in more than a month when Chelsea thumped Bolton 5-1 at the Reebok and now he has the stage to impress Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas at the expense of club-record 50 million pounds signing Torres.

“For me as good as Torres has shown he is at the moment, he hasn’t really been firing on all cylinders at Chelsea,” said Duberry, who made 115 Chelsea appearances and is now playing for League Two side Oxford United.

“It has been proved that an in-form Torres is someone that defenders fear but an out-of-form Torres can become easy to play against and does not hold that same fear for a defender that he once carried.

“So, at the moment it would have to be Drogba with Anelka because he gives you something a bit different with his clever off-the-ball running.

"What Nicolas does really complements him because of the way he runs behind the opposition defence and really stretches teams. He has a lot about him as well. They can be formidable together.”