Benitez forgetting Di Canio factor
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has urged his players to forget the publicity surrounding new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio.
Sunderland have made frequent headlines following the controversial appointment of the Italian, who has replaced Martin O'Neill at the Stadium of Light.
Benitez believes the new manager will inspire his charges and has warned his side to focus on Sunday's clash at Di Canio's men.
"We are playing Sunderland, not the manager," Benítez told The Guardian.
"I don't think the manager can make that much difference if they do not have the right players.
"They will be different on Sunday so we will have to concentrate. But we will play in the style and the way we can play and not worry about them. We just need to concentrate on our game."
Chelsea are in the midst of a hectic fixture schedule and Benitez said he will look to rotate his squad to better manage league, FA Cup and Europa League commitments.
"I don't know how many we can change but we will be changing some of them," the Spaniard said.
"We do have some hard games to play. The good thing now is that we have one game in hand and, if we win, we will be third. It is down to us whether we stay at the top."