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Football | Barclays Premier League

City test for Chelsea on Benitez's debut



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. Kickoff is at 6pm CAT (SA, GMT+2), Live on SS3, SSHD3, Maximo and supersport.com

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.

Source: Sky Sports

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