TORRES: COLOURFUL TIE
Having played his football in this country since 2007, the magic of the FA Cup hasn't been lost on Fernando Torres, and the Chelsea striker sees our Sunday lunchtime clash with Brentford as the perfect opportunity to erase the disappointment of our Capital One Cup exit in midweek.
Deepdale was the scene of the Spaniard's debut in the competition back in 2008, when he scored the second goal in Liverpool's 2-0 third-round win against Preston North End, and it's fixtures such as these, according to Torres, which make the competition so special.
'It's nice to go and play away against teams from the lower divisions because of the fans and the passion they have,' he tells the official Chelsea website. 'For them, it's a chance to beat a top side, and they're always special occasions.
'The atmosphere you feel in these games is completely different to the Premier League. It's their only opportunity to play against a big team. It will be like a final for them, but we must treat it in the same way because if you relax in this sort of match you will lose.
'Brentford are a good side, with plenty of quality, and if they play to the best of their ability they can beat anybody. They have home advantage, we know it will be difficult and we are under a lot of pressure.
'Of course, when you get knocked out of one competition, you have to start thinking about the next one. The FA Cup is massive in this country, we won it last year and we know how important it is for everybody at the club.'
Rafael Benitez's side are unbeaten in an away match since the 3-1 defeat at West Ham United at the beginning of December, but with Brentford lying third in League One, under the guidance of Uwe Rosler, the game has all the ingredients of a classic cup tie.
Torres, having also played in the Spanish version of the competition, believes the underdogs in England have a far greater opportunity to cause an upset given the structure of the tournament.
'It's not the same in Spain because in every round the games are played over two legs, so the smaller teams have less of a chance,' he explains.
'In England, it's better when it's a one-off tie because it maintains the traditions of the tournament and gives those teams outside the Premier League a better opportunity to cause an upset.'
The acquisition of Demba Ba has enabled Benitez to afford Torres a much-needed rest in recent weeks, after he featured in all but two of our games prior to the arrival of the Senegalese forward.
Like any player, Torres is eager to be involved as often as possible, but with so many important games on the horizon, completely understands the need for squad rotation.
'When you have players in the same position, the decision on who plays is down to the manager,' says Torres. 'Whatever decision he makes is for the best of the team. We are team-mates; sometimes we will play together, sometimes Demba will play and other times it will be me.
'There is no problem at all; it happens with other positions all the time. We have to be a team and that's the main thing.'