Mourinho pins Chelsea hopes on Eto'o as Torres overlooked

Blues boss says he believes his side can pull off a comeback, even with an unfit striker as the spearhead

Samuel Eto'o celebrates at Stamford Bridge
(Image credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

CHELSEA striker Samuel Eto'o could return to spearhead the Blues' attempt to mount a stunning comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter finals tonight.

The striker, who has been out since the 6-0 demolition of Arsenal last month, trained with the rest of the squad on Monday and, thanks to Chelsea's threadbare striking options, might now be rushed back into the side as they seek to overcome a 3-1 first leg defeat to the French side.

Manager Jose Mourinho will play the half-fit Cameroonian veteran up front because he has had a "loss of faith" in £50m man Fernando Torres, claims The Times.

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The Blues face a daunting challenge as they seek to become only the third side in Champions League history to overturn a two-goal deficit, but, says the paper, "Mourinho exuded belief despite his reliance upon a half-fit striker".

He claimed that his side's progress simply a case of "pure mathematics", telling reporters: "I think we are going to win, really, and, at the end of the two legs, we'll have scored more goals than them."

However, not everyone appears convinced. "With a face as long as a baguette, Jose Mourinho did not look like a man on the brink of one of the greatest acts of escapology in the history of the Champions League," says the Daily Mail. "He talked of his faith in his team, of course, and their ability to salvage the tie after last week's defensive farce in the French capital, but declined the invitations to elaborate... Perhaps he suspects it is beyond them."

PSG will be a tough nut to crack, says The Guardian, pointing out that the French champions have won 11 games in a row and have only failed to score once in 46 games this season.

But all is not lost, says Matt Hughes of the Times. "Barcelona and Bayern Munich have lost [at Stamford Bridge] by two clear goals in the past decade, and perhaps most pertinently, Chelsea succeeded in overturning a 3-1 first leg defeat in the round of 16 by beating Napoli 4-1 two years ago, the exact task they face this evening."

That said, the third goal for PSG in the first leg "felt like a significant moment, a handover with one era beginning as another drew to an end", he adds. "The arrivistes need a big scalp to confirm their place among the European elite, while Chelsea are seeking to turn back time."

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