Benitez set for Chelsea debut against City

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Updated: November 23, 2012

Rafa Benitez steps back into the hot bed of Premiership management, as he takes over at the helm Chelsea, in what is certain to be a baptism of fire against top of the table Manchester City. Manchester United look to get back to winning ways against QPR and Arsenal hope to climb back into the top 4 with a win at Villa Park.

After nearly two years out of management, Benitez was brought in Wednesday to replace the fired Roberto Di Matteo with Chelsea’s league challenge faltering and a successful defense of its Champions League title looking unlikely. It is not going to be an easy ride for Benitez as Chelsea host Manchester City who seem to be finding some form in recent weeks. For Benitez he will also be under the watchful eye of the Chelsea faithful who certainly need convincing of his appointment, a win will go to some lengths of achieving that. The big question is, can Benitez bring out the best of Torres, something he achieved at Liverpool? If so Chelsea will be half way there. The other problem is the leaky defence. City put 5 past Villa last week and there is plenty of suggestion that Silva, Tevez and Aguero are finding their best form which will be testing for the home team.

After winning the title last season, City have climbed back to the top of the standings and are four points ahead of third-place Chelsea going into the match at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United, who are toppled by City after a surprise 1-0 loss at Norwich on Saturday, host last-place Queens Park Rangers. A home victory could be the final straw for under-fire QPR manager Mark Hughes. United will also be desperate to avenge their sloppy loss at Norwich, with their best players fresh after being rested for the Champions League match at Turkish side Galatarasaray on Tuesday.

Also on Saturday, fourth-place West Bromwich will look to maintain their surprise start to the campaign when they travel to Sunderland and fifth-place Everton host Norwich. Stoke are at home to Fulham, Reading host Wigan and a more confident Arsenal are at struggling Villa.

On Sunday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers makes his first return to Swansea since leaving the Welsh club for Anfield, Southampton host Newcastle and Tottenham are at home to West Ham.