Premier League Heavyweights Lock Horns

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Rafael Benitez has been reunited with Fernando Torres at Chelsea. Photo: Getty Images/
After dismissing manager Roberto Di Matteo following a 3-0 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League during the week, Chelsea  will be hoping new boss Rafael Benitez can inspire his them to victory against Premier League Champions Manchester City  in the early hours of Monday morning (AEST). The Spaniard will be without injured club stalwarts John Terry and Frank Lampard for his first match in charge, while Fernando Torres will almost certainly return to the starting XI after enjoying success under his countryman at Liverpool. Despite having won just two of its past eight matches in all competitions, the Londoners have remain third on the Premier League table just four points behind this week’s rivals.

The Citizens dropped out of contention for the Champions League with a 1-1  draw at home to Real Madrid but remain the team to beat in the League after moving to the top of the table with a 5-0 win against Aston Villa last weekend. Skipper Vincent Kompany is doubtful after leaving the City of Manchester Stadium on crutches following the game against Real, while Gareth Barry and Carlos Tevez are likely to start after being rested during the week.

Chelsea has won six of the past ten matches between these teams, with Manchester City successful on four occasions. The last time that they met however, was in the Community Shield at Wembley where Roberto Mancini’s side scored three second half goals to win 3-2 . That match was indicative of those that have featured both Chelsea and City this year, with both producing entertaining fixtures. Six of the champion’s past nine matches have seen three or more goals , while the past twelve games involving Chelsea have produced an average of 4.66 goals.

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