The meeting between two of the main title contenders has come early in the season but three points are three points whether they are won in August or May.

If Manchester City take them they will already be five clear of Chelsea whereas last season they never got their noses in front of Jose Mourinho's side.

City began their campaign with an easy 3-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on Monday with Yaya Toure looking back to his imperious best, scoring the best goal of the season so far with City's second from the edge of the box.

Toure's excellent display and an equally emphatic statement of intent from City's captain Vincent Kompany were both in contrast to many of their performances last season.

"I know what I have to do and I don't care what people say about me. I'm not back -- I've always been there," a defiant Toure said at the Hawthorns.

His manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has just signed a new deal with the club, did say Toure had had problems last season following the death of his brother Ibrahim, when Toure struggled in matches against the top sides.

So he will be under scrutiny when Chelsea visit on Sunday.

INDIFFERENT START

Chelsea made an indifferent start with a 2-2 draw against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge but much of the focus since has been on the curious aftermath of the match with Mourinho banning the club's first team doctor Eva Carneiro from the bench.

Mourinho was unhappy that Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn went on the pitch to treat Eden Hazard near the end.

Chelsea were down to 10 men following the dismissal of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and because the medics had come on to the pitch, Hazard had to go off before he could resume playing, leaving Chelsea with nine men on the field.

That incensed Mourinho and his banning order has made headlines since but what should concern him more was the way his team played.

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