London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Stamford Bridge will host a massive Premier League fixture on Sunday as second-place Chelsea gets set to take on fourth-place Manchester City.
The two sides entered the season with some of the best odds of claiming the title in a very even year in the English top flight, but they find themselves in the wake of Arsenal, which has started the campaign with 19 points from a possible 24.
Chelsea is only two points back of the Gunners and one point in front of City, and should Arsenal taste defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday, a win for the Blues would be enough to send Jose Mourinho's men to the top of the table.
The Blues are unbeaten in their last four league outings and also cruised to an impressive 3-0 road victory over German side Schalke.
Fernando Torres bagged a brace in the comfortable defeat, but the Spaniard was quick to credit his side's defensive strength in recent matches.
"We are basing our football the last few games on being strong in defense and exploding into the spaces we have, playing counter-attack," Torres told the club's official website. "It is a way that Chelsea didn't used to play but we have players who can play that way as well."
Chelsea underwent a bit of an overhaul during the summer, turning over the squad upon Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge. After a somewhat slow start to the season, the Blues appear to be on the rise.
"This is a young squad with a new manager, a new style, new players and it is not easy to settle quickly but we are on the way, we are improving, we are building up and we are learning as a group," Torres continued. "Hopefully we learned the lesson and it is not happening again.
"The manager knows how to motivate the group and some of the games when we have talked with him at halftime, we have improved a lot in the second half. He talks with me like he talks with everyone else, and I know he likes people who work. All of us know if we work hard we will have the reward."
Tottenham enters the weekend level with the Citizens on 16 points, and Spurs will hope to match City's result on Sunday when it welcomes Hull City to White Hart Lane.
Sunderland and Newcastle will square off on Sunday in the always intense Tyne- Wear derby at the Stadium of Light, while Swansea City will look to make it two straight Premier League outings with maximum points when it welcomes West Ham United to the Liberty Stadium.
Manchester United conceded a late goal in its last league contest to settle for a point in a one-all draw with Southampton, but the Red Devils will look to build upon their narrow defeat of Real Sociedad in Champions League play on Wednesday when it hosts Stoke City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Liverpool enters the weekend in third place in the table on 17 points, just two points back of Arsenal. The Reds will hope to close the gap with a victory over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, Aston Villa welcomes Everton to Villa Park, Cardiff City heads to Carrow Road to face Norwich City and Southampton hosts Fulham at St. Mary's.