Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has thrown his support behind Chelsea chief Andre Villas-Boas ahead of the Premier League showdown between the clubs at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

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Villas-Boas joined Chelsea in the summer after winning the Portuguese title with Porto last season and, after a flying start, endured a difficult November which saw his methods come under severe scrutiny.

However, the Blues have bounced back in style over the past couple of weeks - beating Newcastle and Valencia 3-0 - and Mancini thinks their wobble is over.

"I don't know their situation so it is very difficult for me to say something about this," Mancini said. "But when you manage a top team and have top players, you should be strong enough for this and I think he is strong.

"He was managing Porto, a top club in Europe. He is a good manager. I think if you choose this job you should expect to be criticised, this is normal, but when you arrive at a new team you need time. For all managers, it is difficult to change everything in two or three months, it is impossible. Now I think Chelsea have improved in the last three or four weeks."