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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.

Opta facts:

  • Carlos Tevez has scored six goals in his last six Premier League games against Chelsea.
  • There have been five penalties awarded in the last six Premier League games between Chelsea and Man City.
  • Chelsea have won 20 times against Man City in the Premier League; only Tottenham (23) have been on the end of more defeats from the Blues.

Previous game's starting line-ups

4-3-3
  • Cech 1 Cech

  • Azpilicueta 28 Azpilicueta
  • Cahill 24 Cahill
  • Terry 26 Terry

  • Cole 3 Cole
  • Mikel 12 Mikel
  • David Luiz 4 David Luiz
  • Lampard 8 Lampard
  • Ramires 7 Ramires
  • Torres 9 Torres
  • Willian 22 Willian

Team taken from Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid (UEFA Champions League) on Tuesday 22nd April 2014

4-2-2-2
  • Hart 1 Hart
  • Zabaleta 5 Zabaleta
  • Clichy 22 Clichy
  • Fernandinho 25 Fernandinho
  • Kompany 4 Kompany
  • Demichelis 26 Demichelis
  • Nasri 8 Nasri
  • Garcia 14 Garcia
  • Aguero 16 Aguero

  • Dzeko 10 Dzeko

  • Silva 21 Silva

Team taken from Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion (Barclays Premier League) on Monday 21st April 2014


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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 35 80
2 Chelsea 35 75
3 Manchester City 34 74
4 Arsenal 35 70
5 Everton 35 69
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 34 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 34 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 34 33
17 Norwich City 35 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 34 29

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