Roberto Mancini has already conceded the Premier League title to Chelsea.
Mancini's Manchester City side tackle the champions at Eastlands with a patched-up side containing just three fully-fit senior defenders.
It is hardly the backdrop he wanted heading into one of the key games of the campaign, and not one that was anticipated when City were spending in excess of £100million this summer.
However, according to Mancini, the result will not have an affect on where the championship ends up this season.
"Chelsea are the best team in the Premier League at the moment," he said. "They are probably going to win the Premier League title easily.
"They are a strong team, who have been playing together for many years. They have a fantastic manager and they have worked to reach this situation."