Hughes expects Blues pair to gel

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Mark Hughes expects Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres to flourish together but has warned Chelsea the partnership will take time to blossom.

The Blues' £74million strike force will start together for the second time in Monday night's west London derby at Craven Cottage. Expectations of the duo are high following Torres' £50million transfer from Liverpool and Hughes believes they will deliver, but not overnight.

"I expect them to gel together. They are good players so it will be interesting to see how the team shapes up," said the Fulham boss.

"In the last few years with all its success, Chelsea have been based around a focal point which has been Drogba.

"He has a few others which support him as well - will that change with Torres? We will see. There is an expectation that the boy will play. I know (Chelsea manager) Carlo Ancelotti has played the diamond before so there could be a different formation now.

"Carlo has been working with formations all his life and will find the right fit, but with Torres it initially may take time."

The acquisition of Torres and fellow new signing David Luiz on transfer deadline day for a combined fee of £75million has been declared a statement of intent by Chelsea.

Hughes, who believes the Blues' main target this season is now Champions League qualification after ruling them out of the title race, believes they are under pressure to deliver.

"Chelsea have bought those two players to get into the Champions Leagues but coming in January is tough," he said. "There is an idea that they have to make the difference. If they don't get into the Champions League then questions may be asked.

"But it isn't much of a risk signing these players because they are surrounded by quality and that can help you."

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Didier Drogba
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Mark Hughes
Premier League
Fernando Torres
UEFA Champions League
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