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Fulham defender Chris Baird is relishing the chance to lock horns with Chelsea new boy Fernando Torres.

The Cottagers are set to welcome their west London rivals to Craven Cottage on Monday night for what promises to be a keenly-contested derby.

The Blues are expected to field Torres and Didier Drogba in tandem on the banks of the Thames, with that formidable strike force having set the club back some £74million.

Baird will be among those charged with the task of keeping the prolific duo quiet, and the Northern Ireland international insists he is looking forward to the challenge.

“Torres is a great talent. He did fantastically well for Liverpool and scored a lot of goals for them,” he said.

“But he has not done as well against us. He has scored just two goals against us in the Premier League.

“He’s always a threat and with the talent Chelsea have got he is always going to get chances to score, but hopefully we can keep him quiet again against us.

“I was surprised to see him go to Chelsea, but not for the price. It will be weird seeing him in a blue kit.”

Torres, who cost Chelsea a British record £50m, could be joined by Drogba and Nicolas Anelka up front, with Carlo Ancelotti having already experimented with a three-pronged attack.

Baird, though, insists Fulham will not allow themselves to get bogged down in containment tactics, with it important that they offer a considerable goal threat of their own.

“We will not be preparing any differently to face the three of them. We just have to concentrate on our own game,” he added.

“We have been doing well and getting points on the board. We have been climbing the table. It’s all up to us and how we play.

“The derby is always a great game for anyone involved with the club. It is a local derby so it is always a big game for us.

“It is also a difficult game, what with the talent they have. But we are at home and we are playing well there at the moment, so we are looking forward to it.

“We are going for our sixth consecutive win at Craven Cottage so we are up for the game. We know we can get a result if we carry on doing the things we have been lately.”