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Torres, Mata in focus for Chelsea vs Valencia

Mata will be making a return to his former club Valencia in this Champions League clash.

| Associated Press

Updated:September 28, 2011, 1:45 PM IST
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Torres, Mata in focus for Chelsea vs Valencia
Mata will be making a return to his former club Valencia in this Champions League clash.

Valencia: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will look to keep his scoring touch going when his team visits Valencia on Wednesday in the Champions League.

After scoring only once since transferring from Liverpool last season, Torres has found the back of the net in two straight Premier League matches.

The Spain striker also set up David Luiz and Juan Mata in Chelsea's 2-0 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen.

"They are a great team and we know that they are ready for us. It's going to be very, very tough," said Torres, who is suspended from domestic play for three games after his direct red against Swansea on Saturday.

The crowd at Mestalla Stadium, however, will likely be focused on Mata, who will be making a return to his former club after leaving at the end of the transfer window.

Mata said that if he scores, he won't celebrate the goal "out of respect for a club and supporters that always treated me well during the four seasons I was there."

His former teammates are also eager for the reunion.

"A great player left us in Mata, but other players on our team can do what he did," said Valencia midfielder Ever Banega. "Without Juan, we have to look forward."

In the other Group E match, Leverkusen host Genk.

Valencia enter the game coming off a 1-0 loss to nine-man Sevilla, their first defeat in 10 games. They drew 0-0 at Genk in their Champions League opener and are looking to avenge two straight losses in Chelsea's last visits to the Mestalla stadium.

"(Chelsea) are a strong team, with great players, but we are playing very well and hope to demonstrate that tomorrow," Banega said.

The two-time finalists will be spearheaded by striker Roberto Soldado, who has taken Mata's place as fan favorite with five goals to start this season and 17 goals in his last 15 appearances.

Soldado should be well rested after sitting out most of Saturday's loss in Seville.

After years of being a top title contenders both in England and the continent, Chelsea are in a period of transition in Andre Villas-Boas' first season and sit three points behind front-runners Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier league.

While the two Manchester sides are putting on dazzling attacking displays, Chelsea has scored a mundane 12 goals in the English league compared to the 21 they had after six games last season.

But veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech said staying top of the group with a second win would help Chelsea in all competitions.

"Everybody is counting Valencia as one of the main rivals so this will be a difficult one," Cech said. "If you are chasing every trophy it is always good to have as many points as possible as soon as possible in the Champions League, gain qualification and then you can concentrate until the new year on the Premier League and the Carling Cup."

In Germany, Leverkusen will look to rebound from their loss to Chelsea against a Genk side they had no trouble beating 4-1 in a friendly this summer.

Swiss forward Eren Derdiyok scored a hat-trick for the Bundesliga runners-up in that game against Genk.

The Belgian champions enter the game coming off a 1-1 draw away at Oud-Heverlee Leuven.

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