City boss Roberto Mancini has to cope with a defensive injury crisis.
Micah Richards (hamstring), Wayne Bridge (thigh) and Aleksandar Kolarov (ankle) are definitely out, and the fitness of Joleon Lescott (groin) and Jerome Boateng (knee) will need to be checked before Mancini can finalise his line-up.
Further forward, Emmanuel Adebayor returns after missing four matches with a dead leg, but Shaun Wright-Phillips (knee) is also out.
Chelsea will be without Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun for three weeks while Frank Lampard has not shaken off his hernia problem in time to play.
Kalou and Benayoun were expected to be out for up to a month after suffering thigh and calf injuries respectively in the 4-3 Carling Cup defeat by Newcastle.
Paulo Ferreira drops to the bench to make way for captain John Terry, who returned in midweek after missing the 4-0 win over Blackpool five days ago with a rib injury, while Nicolas Anelka is set to replace Kalou in the only other change from last week.
Manchester City (from): Hart, Given, Zabaleta, Kompany, K Toure, Boyata, Cunningham, Lescott, Boateng, Silva, De Jong, Y Toure, Barry, Vieira, Milner, Johnson, Tevez, Adebayor, Jo, Santa Cruz.
Chelsea (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Essien, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda, Ferriera, Borini, Bruma, Zhirkov, Sturridge, Turnbull, Van Aanholt, McEachran.