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June 26, 2017

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Di Matteo struggles to rest a tired Torres

LONDON--Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo admits Fernando Torres is in need of a rest, but the club's lack of attacking options mean the Spaniard must keep playing.

Torres has started every game this season and looks likely to spearhead the Blues' forward line again when Norwich visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

It will be Chelsea's seventh match in just 21 days and Di Matteo has been keen to rotate his squad as much as possible, with the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Juan Mata given spells on the bench to ensure they remain fresh.

But with Daniel Sturridge — Chelsea's only other senior striker — sidelined due to injury, Di Matteo has been forced to keep asking more from Torres, even when he looks short of form and fitness.

"It's our seventh game tomorrow (Saturday) in 21 days and he's in good shape, he's very fit. But, certainly, it's something we have to look at," Di Matteo said on Friday when asked if he was concerned that Torres might be suffering from burnout.

Spain midfielder Mata's fine form since his return from two weeks off has underlined the benefits of giving players extra time to recover, but Di Matteo can't promise the same for every member of the squad as he doesn't have strength in depth in all positions.

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