Roberto Mancini admires the work Roberto Di Matteo has done since taking over at Chelsea but hopes Manchester City can end their winning streak on Wednesday.
Former West Brom manager Di Matteo has taken over as caretaker boss at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking last month.
The Blues have enjoyed four successive wins under the interim manager, including a memorable UEFA Champions League fightback against Napoli.
City manager Mancini, who feels Chelsea's recent results were always within their capabilities, has challenged his side to end the Londoners' triumphant run.
He said: "I am happy to meet Di Matteo, he is a good manager, he did very well at West Brom.
"Now he is continuing to do very well with Chelsea, but tomorrow I hope we can win.
"Chelsea are a good team but they were before with Villas-Boas."
City might have to contend with a fired-up Fernando Torres on Wednesday after he finally ended a long barren run with a double in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Leicester on Sunday.
Mancini added: "I am happy for Torres, I like him as a guy and a player. He scored again because he deserved this.
"I don't know what will happen tomorrow but I am happy for him. But we know tomorrow we play not against Fernando, but against Chelsea. Chelsea are a top team."
After a blistering start to the season, City lost their first league match at Stamford Bridge in December.
Mancini still believes his side deserved to win and would not mind seeing roles reversed at the Etihad Stadium.
He said: "We were really unlucky because we dominated the game for the first 30 minutes.
"I hope in the last 10 games we should play sometimes and be lucky - maybe we will win when we don't deserve to win."