Manchester United will monitor events at the Etihad with interest on Wednesday as Manchester City welcome a resurgent Chelsea to the north-west.
Roberto Mancini is set to welcome back Carlos Tevez for his first appearance since the now infamous fallout-out between the pair during a Champions League group match against Bayern Munich in September.
The Manchester City striker has spent most of the intervening period back in South America but a series of low-key reserve appearances ensures he is match-fit for tonight's clash.
And Mancini be hoping the presence of the Argentina international is enough to avoid back-to-back defeats after they lost at Swansea last time out.
Nevertheless, City remain wary of the threat posed by Chelsea after the Blues became the first side to defeat City in the league this season, in December.
The defeat to Swansea ended a run of four consecutive victories for City but they have the chance to cut the gap with Manchester United back to one point should they beat Roberto Di Matteo's side tonight.
Mancini remained bullish in his pre-match press conference and insists his side are still favourites to claim the title in May, despite trailing Manchester United by four points.
"We will win the title, we will win. We will do everything to win the title. We need to think positive always," the Manchester City boss was quoted in the Telegraph.
Mancini warned that Tevez was still someway short of match fitness and was unlikely to feature for the full 90 minutes but the Italian will be tempted to unleash the striker at some stage, given his impressive record against Chelsea.
Tevez has netted six times in his last five top flight appearances against the Stamford Bridge outfit and Castrol EDGE Performance data shows the Argentine was extremely important for City before his leave of absence.
Since the start of last season the 28-year-old has scored 20 goals in 34 appearances at a chance conversion rate of 21.98%. In contrast, two of the Premier League's most prolific strikers this season, Demba Ba and Robin van Persie, have conversion percentages of 27 percent and 26 percent respectively.
City are yet to drop a point at home in the league this season and Chelsea's recent Premier League form bodes well for Mancini's side.
The Blues have picked up just seven points from a possible 21 in their last seven away matches but interim manager Di Matteo remains unbeaten since succeeding Andre Villas-Boas earlier this month and victory this evening would keep them on course for a Champions League position.