The two main Premier League title favourites meet in an early-season blockbuster on Sunday as Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.
And the pressure is on the Blues of London following their disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City on the opening weekend of the season, and the controversy that went with it.
That result, combined with City’s comprehensive 3-0 beating of West Bromwich Albion on Monday night, has seen the title odds tilt in favour of Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Pellegrini has every reason to be cheerful. He has just been handed the insurance of a new contract and has the best striker in the country – Sergio Aguero – returning from illness to spearhead his attack.
Captain Vincent Kompany finally appears to be fully fit, while Yaya Toure’s two-goal display at the Hawthorns was an encouraging sign that he is committed to the cause. It is all looking rather rosy.
Contrastingly, preparations for Mourinho have been more bitter than sweet. The Special One’s pre-match press conference was dominated by questions over his row with Chelsea’s medical staff.
Mourinho publicly berated first-team doctor Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn for entering the pitch to attend to Eden Hazard in the final minutes against Swansea, accusing them of being “naive”.
The Blues were already down to 10 men because of Thibaut Courtois’ sending off, and Hazard leaving the field following treatment would have further exposed the Blues to a late Swansea attack.
Mourinho has banned the pair from the bench this weekend, although left the door open for a return in the future. Carneiro is reportedly considering suing the club following strong public support.
Widely criticised for his actions, Mourinho will be glad to have the distraction of a big game to sink his teeth into, and this is a big game however young the season may be.
A defeat would leave Chelsea five points down on City already, and Mourinho does not seem to have any major plans for the remainder of the transfer window, whereas City are expected to spend big.
Courtois is unavailable for the visitors after Chelsea’s appeal against his red card failed, so Asmir Begovic will deputise in goal. Oscar is an injury doubt after picking up a knock.
Mourinho may ask Kurt Zouma to occupy a defensive-midfield role to allow Cesc Fabregas more attacking freedom, particularly if Oscar is not passed fit. Diego Costa is injury-free and will start up top.
Pellegrini, who has lost eight of 13 games against Mourinho, could name an unchanged side, with £49m buy Raheem Sterling making his home bow and interchanging with David Silva in attacking midfield.
This fixture was drawn 1-1 last season, with Chelsea hero Frank Lampard coming off the bench to score an equaliser for City. Something with as much drama this time around will do just nicely.