Didier Drogba's return from the African Cup of Nations has reignited a selection dilemma for Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The Blues welcome Birmingham City to Stamford Bridge in Saturday's lunch time game. And Villas-Boas will have to make a decision which has troubled the West London club since the arrival Premier League's record signing, Fernando Torres.
In Drogba's absence, Torres has been given his longest stint in the side since his £50m move from Liverpool over a year ago.
However, the Spaniard, despite leading the attack for the last 10 games, has failed to score since Chelsea's 5-0 rout in on October 19.
It would therefore be natural to assume that Drogba will walk straight back into the starting eleven. However, the 33-year-old has also struggled for form over the last 18 months.
The selection headache is an additional distraction for the under-fire manager. The former Porto boss has always preferred to deploy a lone striker, supported form the flanks by Daniel Sturidge and Juan Mata.
It has long been established that the team cannot accommodate both the Ivorian and the Spaniard and so far this season neither has scored whilst the other has been on the pitch.
Come Saturday one superstar will have to be looking on jealously from the sidelines as the teams take to the Stamford Bridge pitch.
A poll conducted by GiveMeFootball of over nine thousand Blues fans found that 64% of them would prefer Drogba to go straight back in the team over Torres.
The case for Torres
Despite the continuation of his goal drought, it is widely accepted that Torres has been improving. Whilst Drogba has faced criticism this season for lazy and selfish performances, the former Athletic Madrid striker has been a willing worker for his team.
The 27-year-old has, in the absence of form, put in a lot of hard shifts for the Blues, which has been rightly noted by the Chelsea supporters.
Drogba's contract expires in the summer, and he shows little signs of penning a new deal. As speculation mounts over the Ivorian's future, it could be argued that they need to focus on the options they will have available to this season. Benching Torres now will surely knock the little confidence he has gained in the past few weeks.
As his form has begun to lift, signs of the old Torres has began to show. His assist for Juan Mata's goal during the 3-3 draw with Manchester United was arguably the best set up of the Premier League season.
The case for Drogba
Although Torres has improved, 19 games and over 1000 minutes without a goal speaks for itself. It is his worse run in his four-and-a-half years in England and does not show signs of abating.
Whilst his all round play is looking sharper, high profile misses, such as the one against Manchester United, have cost his side games.
Drogba, who missed a penalty in the ACON final, is a proven goal scorer at Stamford Bridge, with 98 goals in his 217 games at the West London club.
Chelsea desperately need a consistent goalscorer. And with continuing hopes of finishing in the top four and European success Drogba's goals could be season defining.
The Blues have two of the most talented players to ever grace the Premier league, but neither have performed to anywhere near the required level in the last 18 months. And with his job in the balance, AVB faces a difficult decision.News Now - Sport News