Cech praises Torres' goal-scoring exploits

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has hailed the recent goal-scoring exploits of his Spanish team-mate Fernando Torres.

The Blues face fifth-placed Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in a crucial battle for the fourth and final Champions League qualification place.

The 29-year-old Czech shot-stopper believes that Torres’s recent form, which has included a hat-trick against QPR and a goal that saw off Barcelona at Camp Nou, will help the whole team's confidence.

"Fernando has been playing well all season but so many times he was unlucky with chances, he created a lot," Cech told the club's official website.

"On Sunday with those goals [against QPR] he was at the start of the [move] and it's great for him to see the ball go into the back of the net.

"For me he settled quickly but was unlucky not to score goals. Now it is good to see everyone in good shape and ready to compete because this is where it matters the most."

Victory against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge would take Chelsea above their opponents into fifth place, with just London rivals Tottenham Hotspur left to fight for fourth place.

However, victory in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich would ensure they qualify for next season's competition, regardless of their league placing.

The West London side’s remaining two Premier League fixtures after Wednesday are against Torres’ former club Liverpool and relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers.

Cech added: "I think it will be really important on Wednesday. Newcastle are in a position they were in a long time ago, and we have been there many times so it could be the decisive factor.

"We have everything to play for and it will be an exciting game. The experience of our team could help.

"It's clear that we would like to go to Munich feeling it is job done and we can only concentrate on the final, but we have to fight for it to happen."

By Ben Walker