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Man City's Zabaleta fears Chelsea backlash

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By Andrew Tuft

Friday 23 November 2012

Pablo Zabaleta has admitted he is wary of facing Chelsea under their new manager, Rafael Benitez, according to Sky Sports. Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions, meet the Champions League holders on Sunday.

Pablo Zabaleta

The match sees the league leaders meet the third-placed team in the table, but until recently Chelsea were unbeaten and had established a points advantage in the early going of the season. A string of poor results not only saw them slip down the rankings, but also brought an end to the tenure of Roberto Di Matteo.

Benitez was appointed earlier this week on a seven-month contract and leads his new charges out for the first time at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. City go into the game having been eliminated from the Champions League in midweek after they failed to beat Real Madrid, while Chelsea’s own continued participation in the competition is under threat after their defeat to Juventus. If Chelsea do not make the next stage, they will become the first holders of the Champions League to fall at the first hurdle.

Nevertheless, Zabaleta believes the uncertainty around Chelsea spurred by the change in manager makes them a more dangerous proposition. He said: “ It's a difficult moment for them but they now have a new manager in Rafa Benitez.

When they are in a moment like this, it might seem they are easier to play against, but a new manager can make old players fresh again. Benitez has experience in the Premier League so it will be a really tough game for us.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Chelsea v Man City

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