Why Chelsea vs. Manchester City Is the EPL Match to Watch This Weekend
Both teams face off in London on the back of European disappointment, but only one owner decided to pull the trigger on a poor round of fixtures for England's representatives.
Read on for more details.
The Elephant in the Room
The media circus is coming to Stamford Bridge and new manager Rafa Benitez is firmly in their sights.
It's a pretty horrendous game to start with if you're Chelsea's new boss, as reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City are unbeaten in the league this season and come off the back of a 5-0 victory over Aston Villa last weekend.
The levels of scrutiny attached to this game will be unbelievable.
Champions League Fallout
Beware the wounded animal.
Chelsea welcome a Manchester City side to Stamford Bridge on Sunday who have just been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League.
For the second year running, Roberto Mancini's side have been eliminated at the group stage. While the Italian is not under the same pressure his compatriot Roberto Di Matteo was, a backlash is a real possibility.
If post-match interviews and conferences are anything to go by, none of the City squad are proud of their European performances this year.
The very next English Premier League game seems like a good place to start for revenge.
While Chelsea may have enjoyed a wonderful start to the season, fortunes have sloped alarmingly since a 2-1 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in October.
That night in the Donbass Arena saw the Blues completely outclassed by a ridiculously proficient Hirnyky side, and the result served as your proverbial "bubble-burster" in Chelsea's great early form.
With comprehensive wins over Newcastle, Norwich and Arsenal now a distant memory, two points garnered from a possible 12 has seen Rafa Benitez's new side slip four points off the pace.
Should City come to Stamford Bridge and win, the London club will be facing a seven-point deficit in the title race before December has even started.
A manager's first game with a new club is always exciting.
What tactics will he employ?
What formation does he favour?
Who starts, who warms the bench?
There will be hundreds of questions leading up to 10.00 a.m. EST on Sunday. When the teams kick off, many will be answered.
It's been a long time since Rafa Benitez coached in English football and many a neutral will have forgotten his style. Has it changed since his time at Liverpool and Internazionale, and how will Chelsea fans react to the style he imposes during his tenure?