FERNANDO TORRES has one last chance to end his Chelsea goal drought before Didier Drogba returns to take his place.
The £50million Spanish flop, 27, has now gone 19 GAMES and 1,253 minutes since his last goal for the Blues way back on October 19 against minnows Genk in the Champions League.
And with fellow striker Drogba, 33, now back from the African Nations Cup, today's FA Cup clash with Birmingham could be Torres' last start for a long time.
Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas revealed: "Didier won't be in contention for the Birmingham game but he will be available to play against Napoli in the Champions League next week.
"We've used Fernando in all the eight games Drogba has been away and it hasn't been happening for him.
"Any game would be a good time for him to score and of course we have missed Didier.
"Didier is a major player for us who was having a really big impact on the team when he left back in December.
"I spoke to him the day after he missed a penalty in the final for the Ivory Coast and obviously losing that final was a major disappointment for him.
"But I expect him to come back mentally and physically ready to help our team.
"He is as strong as anybody.
"A player of his quality who has been involved so much for Chelsea in the past will always help. Kalou is with us on Friday and Didier returns to us the following day.
"I gave them an extra two days away and Didier an extra day off for personal reasons. Didier will be back for Napoli and he will put further competition on Torres for sure."
Meanwhile, Branislav Ivanovic has insisted that Chelsea's widely-publicised meeting on Sunday had a positive effect on the squad.
Villas-Boas was reportedly challenged openly by some of his squad during the talks.
But defender Ivanovic, 27, said: "We sorted out a lot of problems.
"It is a very hard period for us but we have to believe, we have to have trust in each other.
"It is very important to have communication between the manager and the players. It gives us confidence to know what we're doing right and wrong."
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