Football has a nasty habit of bringing you down a peg or three in double-quick time - and Leicester City and Manchester United are experiencing that very phenomenon as they prepare to face off at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
Claudio Ranieri's men recorded one of the most unexpected title victories in British sporting history in 2015-16 but have returned to their former domain near the bottom of the Premier League table this term, while Jose Mourinho has seen his side struggle to turn possession into victories once more in recent matches, having watched them mount a serious top-four challenge towards the end of 2016 with an improved run.
United remain the side with the longest unbeaten run in Europe, having not tasted defeat sonce the 4-0 hammering at Chelsea in October, but the number of draws being racked up by the Red Devils is becoming a serious issue as they head for the stadium at which Mourinho suffered his final, fatal loss as Chelsea manager in December 2015.
MAN UTD INJURIES
Phil Jones limped out of the 0-0 draw with Hull City at Old Trafford on Wednesday but the defender insisted afterwards that there was nothing to worry about in terms of his participation in Sunday's fixture.
"My foot's bruised but I'll be fine," he told MUTV. "It's nothing sinister, nothing serious, so hopefully in a few days I'll be fine." However, Jose Mourinho has ruled the defender out of contention for the trip to Leicester.
Eric Bailly is expected to be available despite picking up an ankle injury in Monday's Under-23s defeat by Everton after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations. He has worked without restriction in training this week and could replace Jones at the heart of the defence. Elsewhere, goalkeeper Joel Pereira has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage on Monday, with Dean Henderson recalled from his loan with Grimsby Town as cover.
MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS
Neither side are troubled by disciplinary issues, with the amnesty on yellow cards at the turn of the year having cleared the decks. With a total of seven bookings in domestic fixtures, Paul Pogba is still three yellows away from a second ban of the season.
MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Mourinho is expected to shuffle the pack once more after making nine changes for each of the last two fixtures, although United's forthcoming free midweek - their only on in February - gives him a little leeway in terms of testing out his first-choice lineup.
The big talking point will be a potential return for Anthony Martial, whose absence from the side which drew with Hull City caused a real stir, but there is no guarantee that the Frenchman will return given the competition for places in the final third. There could be a change at left-back after Daley Blind became the third different player to start there in the last three games in the midweek fixture, while Mourinho has a decision to make in midfield after replacing Michael Carrick with Wayne Rooney at half-time for the second time in successive league starts.
The Portuguese has a host of names to choose from in the attacking-midfield line and could give a start to Juan Mata after the Spaniard sat out the Hull game. Phil Jones' foot injury means there will be at least one change at the heart of defence.
LEICESTER CITY TEAM NEWS
Leonardo Ulloa is the man who has been making all the headlines at the King Power Stadium of late but his threat to strike has seemingly been softened in recent days and he could even feature on Sunday.
Daniel Amartey remains on international duty despite Ghana's loss to Cameroon in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations, with a third-place fixture against Burkina Faso on Saturday keeping him involved for one final weekend, but Islam Slimani is expected to be back as Claudio Ranieri has close to a full squad from which to choose.
The Foxes will be looking to use the huge spotlight on the visit of United to wake them from their slumber, with multiple recent victories for the likes of Swansea City, Sunderland and Hull City having dragged the champions right into the relegation dogfight.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Leicester City have won just one of their last 17 games against Man Utd in all competitions (D3 L13) – 5-3 in this exact fixture in September 2014.
This match will be Leicester's 2000th in the top flight (currently P1999 W642 D526 L831, 32.1 win %)
Jamie Vardy has had a hand in four goals in two Premier League appearances against Manchester United at the King Power Stadium (two goals, two assists).
Leicester are only the fifth Premier League team to fail to score in their opening four matches of a calendar year, following Newcastle (2008), Swansea (failed to score in their first four Premier League games in August & September 2011), Hull (2014) and Aston Villa (2015) – no team has ever failed to score in their first five.
Leicester haven't won both of their home league games against the Manchester clubs (United and City) in the same season since 1975-76.
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
United return to the nation's TV screens on Sunday, with the 4pm kick-off at the King Power Stadium covered live on Sky Sports 1. Anthony Taylor referees a United fixture for the first time since October's 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.