Chelsea return from the international break with the most unenviable of tasks. Their credentials as title challengers, a rather reactionary label bestowed upon them in recent weeks, will be scrutinised to the fullest degree by a vengeful Manchester City side in a clash of endless permutations and unanswered questions.

Being embroiled in a three-man title hunt will be of little consequence to Frank Lampard and he will view this fixture as an opportunity, albeit a thankless one, to resurrect their dismal form against the top six. Chelsea are currently winless in every fixture they have played against their closest rivals this season and there is a defensive fragility that rears its ugly head at the sight of a well-drilled attacking set-up, often one that operates without a traditional forward. 

City are perhaps the best side in Europe when it comes to exploiting said frailties, and the culmination of two such polarising tactical mannerisms could have explosive results if Chelsea don’t set up appropriately.