Swansea vs. Chelsea: Demba Ba Must Start Ahead of Fernando Torres

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2013

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Demba Ba of Chelsea shakes hands with Manager Rafael Benitez during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on January 12, 2013, in Stoke-on-Trent, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Rafa Benitez cannot afford to sit Demba Ba on the bench for a second Premier League match in a row.

Fernando Torres got the start ahead of the newly signed Ba and played extremely poorly in Chelsea's 2-1 win over Arsenal this past weekend.

The Blues were able to get the three points, but it was no thanks to the Spanish striker. While Torres showed a rise in form shortly after the arrival of Benitez, he's regressed back to the form he had when Roberto Di Matteo was manager.

Ba, on the other hand, has been superb all season. He scored 13 goals with Newcastle and has recorded another with Chelsea, which puts him third in the league behind Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez. He notched two goals on his Blues' debut against Southampton in the F.A. Cup.

Ba's form has been a stark contrast to that of Torres.

You could understand why Torres was featured in the lineup so much. He was the only option left for the manager to select. Additionally, he wouldn't improve at all by sitting on the bench.

To Torres' credit, he did show signs of regaining some semblance of the form he showed at Liverpool, when he was one of the best strikers on the planet. That form has since come and gone.

With Ba, Benitez doesn't have to rely on Torres anymore. Ba can play as a lone striker with Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard behind him.

Those four make up, on paper at least, one of the most intimidating attacks in the Premier League.

Swansea are going to be tough opponents. The Swans have the kind of attacking talent that can hit Chelsea hard on the break. The trio of Mata, Oscar and Hazard are great going forward, but they run into trouble when having to defend.

It will take a strong performance from the Blues' back four in order to keep Swansea out of the net for 90 minutes.

As a result, Chelsea needs to ensure that its attack has the best players possible on the pitch. That wouldn't be the case should Torres get the start.


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