Fernando Torres has failed to sparkle at the World Cup so far but Cesc Fabregas is tipping the Liverpool striker to come good when Spain face Paraguay in the quarter-finals tonight.
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Torres has failed to hit the back of the net for the European champions in their opening four games after an injury-hit domestic season, which saw him head to South Africa in the wake of a knee problem.
But Arsenal midfielder Fabregas insisted: “This boy is accustomed to this kind of situation. He’s accustomed to all these situations because he’s been under pressure ever since he was a little boy.
“He is very much at ease and I think tonight he will have a possibility to showcase his talents to see whether he can take this team to the highest possible ranks.”
Torres is Evens with Blue Square to hit the back of the net in normal time, while Spain are 4/9 favourites to prevail in 90 minutes, but Fabregas is not taking victory for granted.
The two-time European Championship winners, who are looking to reach the last four for the first time since 1950, had been major underachievers on the world stage until they claimed their second continental crown in 2008.
“I think Spain has had sufficient lessons taught in the past,” said Fabregas. “We know that in football anything is possible and if somebody has learnt something this time, it is Brazil.
“As we know, Paraguay have a very competitive team. They love to fight and they’re going to fight to the end.
“But we’re used to playing teams like this. Many of these players play in Europe and we know them, so we’re quite at ease.”