Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini have faced off a few times in La Liga. But during those games, it was always the giants of Real Madrid taking on the relatively low-key Malaga.
Chelsea players Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard celebrate a goal against Schalke in the Champions League. Reuters
On Sunday in the English Premier League, the two managers, who don't like each other too much, meet yet again, but this time in a much more level playing field as Mourinho's Chelsea host Pellegrini's Manchester City.
Mourinho, who replaced Pellegrini at Real Madrid in 2010, wound Pellegrini up, or at least attempted to a couple of times in the past, with quotes in the tune of: "Second place is just the first loser" in reference to Real finishing second behind Barcelona under Pellegrini, and "I wouldn't go to Malaga. If I get fired I'd go to a top-level team in Italy or England."
So, there is definitely no love lost between the two managers, and Pellegrini is not one to let Mourinho get under his skin.
"I can't tell you what is in Mourinho's mind, but I can tell you I've had a lot of chances to manage top clubs after Real Madrid and I took the decision of my life to go to Malaga," he said. "I'm very happy. I don't talk about what other managers say about their work. That is not my duty.
"There are different ways to go about what you say. I'm not telling you I don't like Jose, but I'm a different person with a different style and not just in terms of football.
"I never get involved in the moment and I will not get involved now. I don't know him. He worked in Spain, I worked in another club. We played Real Madrid against Malaga, nothing more. I don't have any complaint."
Having seen both Arsenal and Liverpool win on Saturday, both teams will know they cannot afford to drop points on Sunday, with a win definitely worth going for.
Therefore, the match at Stamford Bridge promises to be an entertaining affair as City look to build on the impressive away win against West Ham with Chelsea slowly but surely moulding themselves into a formidable unit under Mourinho.
"They (Manchester City) just won two matches away from home, against (CSKA) Moscow and West Ham, they are not easy to win and they won them," Mourinho said. "They have two very good teams, one playing and one in the stands. They have a fantastic squad and fantastic players so they are a good team, a really good team."
Team News: Chelsea welcome back Ashley Cole and Andre Schurrle, leaving only long-term absentee Marco Van Ginkel on the injury list.
Pellegrini could give a debut to Martin Demichelis, with Vincent Kompany still out with a thigh injury.
Key men: Fernando Torres or Samuel Eto'o - whichever striker starts will need to continue banging in the goals, with the former netting his first Premier League goal last weekend, while the Spaniard bagged a brace in the Champions League in midweek.
Where to watch
Expected lineups: Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Garcia, Nastasic, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Navas, Aguero, Silva; Negredo.
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