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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

4-3-3
  • Cech 1 Cech
  • Ivanovic 2 Ivanovic
  • Cahill 24 Cahill
  • Terry 26 Terry
  • Azpilicueta 28 Azpilicueta
  • Ramires 7 Ramires
  • Zouma 5 Zouma
  • Fabregas 4 Fabregas

  • Willian 22 Willian

  • Costa 19 Costa

  • Hazard E 10 Hazard E

Team taken from Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur (Capital One Cup) on Sunday 1st March 2015

4-4-2
  • Hart 1 Hart
  • Zabaleta 5 Zabaleta
  • Kompany 4 Kompany
  • Mangala 20 Mangala
  • Kolarov 11 Kolarov
  • Nasri 8 Nasri

  • Toure Y 42 Toure Y
  • Fernandinho 25 Fernandinho

  • Silva 21 Silva
  • Aguero 16 Aguero
  • Dzeko 10 Dzeko

Team taken from Manchester City vs Liverpool (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 1st March 2015


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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 26 60
2 Manchester City 27 55
3 Arsenal 27 51
4 Manchester United 27 50
5 Liverpool 27 48
6 Southampton 27 46
7 Tottenham Hotspur 26 44
8 Swansea City 27 40
9 West Ham United 27 39
10 Stoke City 27 39
11 Newcastle United 27 35
12 Crystal Palace 27 30
13 West Bromwich Albion 27 30
14 Everton 27 28
15 Hull City 27 26
16 Sunderland 27 25
17 Queens Park Rangers 26 22
18 Burnley 27 22
19 Aston Villa 27 22
20 Leicester City 26 18

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