Andre Villas-Boas' final pre-match press conference before being sacked as Blues boss saw the Portuguese brand City's playing pool "a lot better" than his own.
But caretaker manager Di Matteo has no doubt Chelsea can go toe-to-toe with Roberto Mancini's men in the Barclays Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.
They will have to do so without captain Terry, who Di Matteo revealed would miss the game after over-exerting himself in the two matches he has played since his remarkable recovery from knee surgery.
Asked if he believed Chelsea were capable of taking City on, Di Matteo said: "Yes, I do."
He added: "I think we have a very good team and squad, a very strong one, and we've shown it over the years. The table shows that they (City) have won more games this season than we have. But, I think we are very competitive."