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Premier League

  • November 25, 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 41792
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Chelsea - Manchester City Preview: Benitez takes on champions in first Blues test

Two of the top three meet in an eagerly anticipated clash on Sunday as the hosts look to usher in a new era at Stamford Bridge following Roberto Di Matteo's shock dismissal

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHELSEA

Cech
Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole
Mikel, Ramires
Hazard, Oscar, Mata
Torres
MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Maicon, Nastasic, Lescott, Zabaleta
Toure, Garcia
Silva, Nasri, Tevez
Aguero

Rafa Benitez will be without his captain John Terry (knee) for his first game in charge, the Chelsea defender injured himself against Liverpool and is not expected back until December.

Frank Lampard (calf) and Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) also remained sidelined.

Roberto Mancini has real concerns over captain Vincent Kompany (knee), after he left City's Champions League match against Real Madrid on crutches.

He joins Gael Clichy (ankle), Micah Richards (knee) and Mario Balotelli (back) on the injury list at Eastlands.

James Milner is expected to to be fit after recovering from a hamstring concern.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Chelsea have not gone three games at Stamford Bridge without a Premier League win since December 2008, but have lost just two of their last 15 home games.
  • The Blues have both scored and conceded in their last seven Premier League games.
  • Chelsea are behind only Arsenal with victories against Manchester City, the Blues' 20 trailing the Gunners' 21.
  • There have been five penalties awarded in the last six league meetings between the two sides.
  • City are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games, winning five.
  • The champions have conceded more than one goal away from home only once in 11 months in the league.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
23David LuizDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
24Gary CahillDefender
-Ryan BertrandDefender
-Oriol RomeuMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
21Marko MarinMidfielder
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
4Vincent KompanyDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
33Matija NastasicDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
13MaiconDefender
4Kolo ToureDefender
8Samir NasriMidfielder
26Javi GarcíaMidfielder
10Carlos TévezStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
Players to Watch
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

His return to the team in recent weeks has coincided with an improvement in displays. A fine showing against Real Madrid again showcased his ability in the final third to play the killer pass, and Manchester City will need his quick-thinking with Chelsea expected to enjoy the superior share of possession.

David Silva
David Silva
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 21
Games Goals YC RC
5 1 2 0

The Spaniard was dropped in what turned out to be Roberto Di Matteo's final game in charge against Juventus. Luckily for him he has another chance to shine under the man who brought him t England with Rafael Benitez now at the helm. It is now or never for the previously mercurial forward to prove himself at Chelsea and a positive start against the champions will do his confidence wonders.

Prediction

Both of these sides’ defences have looked shaky with their captains unavailable through injury, but Vincent Kompany’s calm head is more vital to Manchester City than John Terry is to Chelsea.

The chance to impress new manager Rafa Benitez and earn a place in the Chelsea side for the coming weeks could also bring the best out of the hosts, namely Fernando Torres, so expect a narrow home win.

Editor's Prediction

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