All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City had held on to hope that imposing centre back and club captain Vincent Kompany would be fit for the highly-anticipated clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, October 27, however, as smooth Blues attacker Eden Hazard tellingly stated that City often lose when Kompany is not on the pitch, the Eastlands boss Manuel Pellegrini provided the player's injury latest.
'He is a great defender,' Hazard said, as reported by Daily Express, talking up his international team-mates importance. 'When he plays they win. When he doesn’t they lose, often. That proves his importance.
'We all know his quality. I prefer to play with players like him than against them.'
It appears Hazard's public proclamation has acted as a voodoo style needle doll as the thigh strain keeping Kompany out of City's first team continues to plague the influential Belgium defender. Chelsea fans may well hope that Hazard next speaks out over in-form and goal-banging Sergio Aguero, to find out if he really is a master of the dark arts.
'Vincent is still injured, he will not have a chance to play.' noted Pellegrini. 'We are entirely convinced that Hazard put a hex on the player and we will immediately consult legal action,' he may but did not add.
As for the fitness of Chelsea players, Ashley Cole may have overcome his rib injury to feature against City while Gary Cahill will be hoping he did enough to warrant further inclusion over David Luiz following the club's Tuesday triumph over David Luiz.
Jose Mourinho will be looking to secure his 65th unbeaten game at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea boss but one man determined to put a dent in those hopes is Samir Nasri, who told his club's official website that: '[Chelsea] are always a threat, especially on their own pitch and with Jose Mourinho returning, that’s even more the case so we will have to be at our best if we are to get a good result.
'I especially love the big games because those are the ones everybody wants to play in and it’s true I enjoy playing against Chelsea,' he concluded, perhaps thinking of the three goals in four games he's scored for City since switching club allegiances. As a Citizen, Nasri has always beaten Chelsea.
Hazard... have a word mate.
City have looked incredibly strong as of late but a third Premier League defeat could significantly stunt their form while a home defeat for Chelsea would wreck the image Mourinho has built there of being impregnable at the Bridge.
Jose, though, is not having any of it and believes the importance of the fixture is overplayed: 'In this moment, with the way the Premier League is going week after week, no result will put a team in a great situation, no result will put a team in a difficult situation,' he told reporters.
'Every weekend somebody loses points. Some weekends more than one of the top teams lose points. The league is hard, so I don't think at this stage, mid-October, one game is going to be crucial.'
Meanwhile, on other matters but still concerning City, Mourinho spoke out over the racial ordeal Yaya Toure was recently subjected to.
Toure insisted that ethnic minorities could refuse to attend the World Cup in Russia in 2018 after being the victim of abuse there. Mourinho, though, believes that this will do a dis-service to the millions, if not billions, of fans around the world who are not racists.
Here Is The City recently published an article where he is quoted to have said: ‘The history of football was made equally by many races. The black players have made a fantastic contribution and when you go to the World Cup it is the biggest expression of different nationalities, races and parts of the world.
‘What’s more important, the billions of people around the world who want to see that or the few thousand who go to football stadiums and show disgraceful behaviour towards black players? If I was a black player I would say the billions are more important.
'Let’s fight the few thousand and give the billions what they want.’
image: © Ben Sutherland