Chelsea's summit meeting with Manchester City is more than first against second. With TV crews from Brazil to Kazakhstan squeezing into the Bridge, beaming events to 175 countries, this collision of the Premier League's finest pits Jose Mourinho, the self-styled Special One, against Manuel Pellegrini, who yesterday portrayed himself as the Ethical One.
"We have different styles,'' said Pellegrini when asked about Mourinho's penchant for mind games, a trait briefly placed on hold during his vow of silence. "The ethical way is the best way for me. Maybe you think (by using the media) you can have a big advantage but for me I don't think that the normal (mind games) way is the fair way."
By "ethical", Pellegrini meant behaving in a civilised way, respecting officials and opponents, not bringing the game into disrepute.
Pellegrini was categorical in dismissing Mourinho's argument about there being a "campaign" among rival managers and the media to influence referees' decisions against Chelsea, a suggestion that has already brought Mourinho a fine.
"I hope that in the Premier League - the most important league in the world - they don't have a campaign against anyone,'' responded Pellegrini. "I hope that all is fair, that the referee makes mistakes for all the teams exactly the same, that the FA make the fixtures in a fair way and the punishment (in a fair way). I think it is the best league in the world and I don't think it has any strange things because you are not competing (fairly).''
Pellegrini expects Didier Drogba rather than Loic Remy to replace Costa and he believes the striker will probably learn from his stamp and subsequent exile.
"For me, he's a very good player, a top player, a great player but maybe this will be good for him for the future,'' added Pellegrini. "He has his character, it is not an easy character but I hope for him that this punishment will be a good thing for him to change in the future.
"He doesn't need to do it in that way because he is a top player." (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Chelsea v Manchester City, Live, Sky Sports 1, 5.30