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Stamford Bridge (ATT 41,792) 25th November 2012 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: C Foy

Chelsea Chelsea vs Manchester City Man City

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Rafael Benitez takes charge of first Chelsea game against Manchester City

Last Updated: 25/11/12 6:56am

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Rafael Benitez: Takes charge of his first Chelsea game against City

Rafael Benitez: Takes charge of his first Chelsea game against City

Rafael Benitez takes charge of his first game as Chelsea manager when the Blues host Premier League leaders Manchester City in Sunday's blockbuster clash.

The two heavyweights enter the Stamford Bridge showdown on the back of similarly rough weeks in Europe, with City having crashed out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage for a second successive year, while Chelsea's qualification hopes are hanging by a thread.

The 3-0 defeat to Juventus which left the Blues on the brink of elimination was swiftly followed by the sacking of manager Roberto Di Matteo - who just six months ago led the club to their greatest ever triumph of winning the competition.

Former Liverpool boss Benitez has been appointed on an interim basis until the end of the season and takes charge of a Chelsea side sitting third in the Premier League and four points adrift of City in the top spot.

Despite their lofty status, the Blues have failed to win a league game in four, having suffered an upset at West Brom last weekend when they were beaten 2-1.

Benitez will look to stake his intent by getting off to a winning start with Chelsea against the Premier League champions, who are unbeaten in the league this season and have won eight of their 12 encounters.

Roberto Mancini's men were unable to prevent their slide out of Europe this week when they could only draw 1-1 with Real Madrid, and will be keen to get back on track in West London.

Having knocked local rivals Manchester United off the top spot, Mancini's side sit a point ahead of their neighbours, who could reclaim pole position with a win against QPR on Saturday.

Chelsea Badge Chelsea

Chelsea captain John Terry is still missing for the Blues after he picked up a knee injury against Liverpool two weeks ago.

Daniel Sturridge missed the defeat to Juventus with a hamstring problem and remains sidelined, but Fernando Torres could return to the starting XI after being benched in Turin.

Benitez is without midfielder Frank Lampard as he continues his recovery from a calf injury.

Man City Badge Man City

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (knee) will be given a fitness test ahead of the trip to West London after suffering an injury late in the midweek clash with Real Madrid.

Striker Mario Balotelli, dropped for the defeat of Tottenham a fortnight ago, has been training after being forced out of the last two games by a back injury.

Left-back Gael Clichy (ankle) is back in contention while midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) edges closer to a return but right-back Micah Richards (knee) is still out.

Previous game's starting line-ups

4-4-2
  • Cech 1 Cech
  • Christensen 31 Christensen
  • Zouma 5 Zouma
  • Cahill 24 Cahill
  • Azpilicueta 28 Azpilicueta
  • Ramires 7 Ramires
  • Oscar 8 Oscar
  • Mikel 12 Mikel

  • Salah 17 Salah

  • Drogba 11 Drogba
  • Remy 18 Remy

Team taken from Chelsea vs Bradford City (The FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser) on Saturday 24th January 2015

4-2-3-1
  • Caballero 13 Caballero
  • Zabaleta 5 Zabaleta
  • Kompany 4 Kompany
  • Boyata 38 Boyata
  • Kolarov 11 Kolarov
  • Fernando 6 Fernando

  • Milner 7 Milner
  • Navas 15 Navas

  • Silva 21 Silva
  • Jovetic 35 Jovetic

  • Aguero 16 Aguero

Team taken from Manchester City vs Middlesbrough (The FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser) on Saturday 24th January 2015


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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 22 52
2 Manchester City 22 47
3 Southampton 22 42
4 Manchester United 22 40
5 Arsenal 22 39
6 Tottenham Hotspur 22 37
7 West Ham United 22 36
8 Liverpool 22 35
9 Swansea City 22 30
10 Stoke City 22 29
11 Newcastle United 22 27
12 Everton 22 23
13 Crystal Palace 22 23
14 West Bromwich Albion 22 22
15 Aston Villa 22 22
16 Sunderland 22 20
17 Burnley 22 20
18 Hull City 22 19
19 Queens Park Rangers 22 19
20 Leicester City 22 17

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