TEAM NEWS: Fernando Torres partners Didier Drogba as Chelsea face Tottenham

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has been repaid with a place on the starting line-up, alongside Didier Droga, after scoring his first goal for the Blues in last weekend's victory to West Ham.

It will only be the fourth time the two strikers have partnered each other upfront, in the 15 games Chelsea have played since Torres arrived at Stamford Bridge in January. It has been somewhat of a hit and miss striking partnership, Chelsea losing to both Liverpool and Manchester United after starting with the two strikers, although they did seal a 3-1 victory to Blackpool in between the defeats.

Michael Essien is in the starting line-up after being declared fit to play, after being forced off in last weekend's victory following a knee-injury. Ramires and Alex both return from injury, which have kept the pair both sidelined for the last three matches. Although they have failed to make the starting line-up, with David Luiz and Florent Malouda being given the nod.

As predicted Tottenham are without defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who has been sidelined by a hamstring problem. Midfielder Tom Huddlestone has failed to recover from an ankle injury, picked up in last weekend's 2-2 draw to West Brom. Ledley King will not be making his first appearance for Spurs since October, after recovering from a groin problem.

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda; Torres, Drogba.

Tottenham: Gomes; Corluka, Kabou,l Dawson, Gallas; Lennon, Sandro, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Pavlyuchenko.

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