or tweet @edmballard with
the answer to this question: What is the best temporary job you've ever had?
CHELSEA 0 MAN CITY 0
7 min It's all a bit scrappy. Here's Henry Winter's take on
Benitez's reception with Chelsea's fans. Twitter: Henry Winter - Huge chants of "One Di Matteo" reverberate around the Bridge
5 min Silva plays a beautiful through ball into the box for Zabaleta,
but Cole is well positioned to clear for a corner. It comes to nothing.
4 min Aguero breaks forward on the left but play comes to a halt as
Ramires gets clattered and spends a little spell on the turf. He's all right
after a couple of minutes. Here's Rafa Benitez getting a warm reception from
Roberto Mancini, if not all the Chelsea fans.
2 min Ashley Cole picks up the ball in a great position on the left,
breaks for the byline and crosses but fails to beat the first defender.
1 min Chelsea kick off. They immediately line up in a flexible 4-2-3-1
arrangement, with a line of tricky forwards doing the creative work between
a pragmatic midfield duo and a pouting blond. Rafa's shaking things up all
15.58 The teams are out. And so is Rafa Benitez! He's wearing a blue
tie! He shakes hands with his opposite number and claps him on the shoulder
as if he's never been away. His reception is kind of OKish. A few boos.
He's got a lot to prove.
15.55 Hi, Ed here. Think of me as your interim liveblogger. Thom's
championship-winning shifts in the Champions League, his effortless wit and
laconic style didn't count for anything in the end. There's no justice.
15.52 Thom Gibbs now handing you over to Ed Ballard for the
game, as I've developed a nasty case of bubonic plague. Have fun!
15.50 Time for a pertinent statistical tweet from our friend at Opta:
Twitter: OptaJoe - 11 - Edin Dzeko has scored 11 PL goals in 27 PL starts, compared to 11 in 28 appearances from the bench. Selected.
15.45 Today's retro highlights are brought to you by the year 1990:
15.28 Here are the teams:
Chelsea: Cech (c); Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Mikel;
Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Cahill, Bertrand, Romeu, Marin, Moses.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov, Yaya Toure,
Barry, Silva, Milner, Dzeko, Aguero
Subs: Pantilimon, Maicon, Nasri, Garcia, Kolo Toure, Tevez, Balotelli
Referee: Chris Foy
15.00 Afternoon liveblog fans.
Rafa's back! Remember Rafa?
Hooray! But strictly an interim "hooray", so says Paul Hayward,
who's at Stamford Bridge:
Twitter: Paul Hayward - Just arrived at Stamford Bridge to find the word "interim" very prominent in the programme announcement about Rafa Benitez's appointment.
City once again have a chance to cast off that pesky Champions League
competition and all of the horrors it entails.
Who do you fancy? In the game, not IRL. Let me know at the email address
Team news and more to follow, stay tuned.
Time for a preview? Certainly:
Sunday, November 25
Kick-off: 16.00 GMT
TV: Live Sky Sports 1, Highlights BBC ONE Match of the Day2.
Chelsea (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole;
Ramires, Mikel; Mata, Hazard, Moses; Torres.
Out: Terry (knee).
Test: Lampard (calf), Sturridge (unspecified).
Manchester City (Possible, 4-4-2): Hart; Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic,
Clichy; Silva, Y Touré, Barry, Nasri; Agüero, Tévez.
Out: Richards (knee), Rodwell (hamstring).
Tests: Balotelli (back), Kompany (knee).
Referee: Chris Foy. Matches 9, R0 Y15.
Fernando Torres could return to the starting XI under new Chelsea manager
Rafael Benítez after coming on as a substitute against Juventus.
John Terry is set to miss out again with a knee injury, while Frank Lampard
remains a doubt.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany will be given a fitness test ahead of
Sunday's Premier League trip to Chelsea after suffering injury late in the
midweek clash with Real Madrid.
Striker Mario Balotelli, dropped for the defeat of Tottenham a fortnight ago,
has been training after being forced out of the last two games by a back
Left-back Gaël Clichy is back in contention while midfielder Jack Rodwell
edges closer to a return but right-back Micah Richards is still out.
Rafa Benitez had not yet been sacked as Chelsea manager, so this should be
his first match.
His first job will be to overturn a run of four league games without victory
and no clean sheets in 10 matches.
Whatever macabre arrangement Roberto Mancini puts his defenders in, the league
leaders possess too much of a threat on the break to be resisted for long.
Betting: Home 6-4, Away 13-8, Draw 23-10.
Stat of the game: If Chelsea fail to win, for a fifth league game in
succession, it will be their worst run since December 2010.
3 miun Jonathan Liew's prediction: Chelsea 1 Manchester City 2.
Manchester City »
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