Sir Alex Ferguson is confident that centre-back Rio Ferdinand, left-back Patrice Evra and midfield pass-master Paul Scholes will all be fit to face Arsenal in one of the season's most keenly anticipated clashes.
Darren Fletcher could return to the starting XI, having proved himself a useful midfield warrior in recent meetings with the Gunners.
Adding defensive cover, probably from the bench, both Wes Brown and Jonny Evans are expected to have shrugged off the effects of 'flu to return to the squad.
However, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Owen are both ruled out with hamstring injuries, while Antonio Valencia continiues his recovery from damaged ligaments in his fractured and dislocated ankle.
Possible starting XI: Van der Sar; Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Anderson, Scholes, Fletcher, Nani; Berbatov, Rooney.
Arsene Wenger will give captain Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) and fellow midfielder Abou Diaby (ankle) as long as possible to prove their fitness before he finalises his team, but the Gunners boss concedes that both have only a "small chance" of playing.
Kieran Gibbs is out again, having twisted an ankle against Partizan Belgrade in midweek, but Johan Djourou could be back after a thigh strain.
Manuel Almunia (elbow), Emmanuel Frimpong (knee) and Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) remain sidelined.
Wenger may start with midweek goalscorers Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott on the bench, with a view to introducing them during the course of the match.
Possible starting XI: Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Song, Wilshere, Denilson, Nasri, Arshavin; Chamakh.
Something has to give
Manchester United - third in the table before the weekend's matches and with a game in hand - boast the Premier League's best home record (22 points from 24) and are top of the 'first-half' table. Joint-leaders Arsenal, who sit level with Manchester City, have the strongest away record (17 points out of 24) and top the 'second half' table. So something will have to give at Old Trafford on Monday night unless these two perennial adversaries are forced to settle for an honourable draw.
The looming showdown is evocative of previous titanic clashes between the pair who virtually monopolised the Premier League title for some eight seasons around the turn of the Millennium, when their ferocious rivalry was a piquant ingredient in the domestic mix.
But Monday's game is not a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, for although United remain unbeaten, they have been only intermittently impressive this season; and uncharacteristically careless away from home. Meanwhile Arsenal's habitual creativity has been repeatedly undone by the liability of a vulnerable defence, reflected in nine dropped points at the Emirates.
Such shortcomings would have seen both sides well off the pace had Chelsea maintained their imperious start and not tumbled into a post-Wilkins slump. As it is, Arsenal and United find themselves somewhat surprised to be setting the pace in this season of unpredictability - and each can strike a significant blow against the other in this 183rd league meeting between them.
United have 74 wins so far to Arsenal's 66; while in terms of the two managers, this will be their 43rd head-to-head clash in all competitions, with Ferguson ahead by three wins (17 v 14, with 11 draws). However, the tide has recently been running strongly in United's favour: the Red Devils are unbeaten in their last five matches against Arsenal in all competitions, winning four, and the Gunners have lost seven of their last nine trips to Old Trafford in league and cup. They are also without a win in their last 10 matches against United or Chelsea - and of course, haven't lifted a major trophy since beating United on penalties in the FA Cup final of 2005.
Crises, training centres, babies - and respect
It is statistics such as these which prompted United full-back Patrice Evra to describe Arsenal in the build-up as nothing more than a "training centre", and their trophy drought as "ridiculous" and a "crisis". Evra has previously derided the Gunners, saying after United's victory over them in the 2009 Champions League semi-finals that it had been "11 men against 11 babies".
Wenger diplomatically declined to rise to the taunt, contenting himself with the wry observation that big players always respect their opponents.
He might have pointed out that his club's trophy drought had coincided with a period in which they built a brand new stadium while maintaining financial stability, not splashing out imprudently on a lot of big name players but developing home-grown talent, remaining in the top four and qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Champions League in every season. Not as exciting or immediately gratifying as lifting silverware, perhaps; but an admirable level of consistency and responsibility nonetheless.
Samir Nasri's response to compatriot Evra's jibes was to insist that Arsenal are capable and confident of securing a good result at Old Trafford this time. They have the added incentive of trying to ensure that United do not emulate their feat of going through an entire league campaign undefeated. We'll see on Monday, when the talking stops and the teams must deliver.