Manchester United may well have begun a huge eight-day period with FA Cup progress against Huddersfield Town and an away draw in the Champions League at Sevilla but they most certainly have a point to prove when hosting Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho's side have turned in two less than convincing performances so far this week, most recently delivering a masterclass in underwhelming football on Wednesday in Spain, and while the three points are the number-one target this weekend the fans will be looking for their team to command the game more at the Theatre of Dreams.
MAN UTD INJURIES
Ander Herrera will be unable to repeat his Man of the Match performance in this fixture last season as he misses out due to the muscle injury which saw him leave the 0-0 draw with Sevilla less than 17 minutes in. Marouane Fellaini remains out after undergoing surgery on his troublesome left knee. The Belgian is likely to be absent until the end of March, ruling him out of at least nine fixtures in all competition.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to training this week following a break from first-team football to help him overcome issues after his ACL surgery while Daley Blind is likely to miss out once more due to a muscle injury suffered in training in January. Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones both have knocks to shake off but could be available for Chelsea's visit.
MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS
United have no suspension issues, and the same is true of Antonio Conte's side.
MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Jose Mourinho has made a habit of matching up against three-man defences since arriving at Old Trafford, and he could well do the same on Sunday. While Rojo and Jones are not certain to return, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling should be good to start if the manager decides that a centre-back trio is the way to go.
The big question, of course, will be whether Paul Pogba starts in midfield following the discourse of the last few weeks, but it is hard to envisage the Frenchman not being involved particularly in light of Ander Herrera's injury. Club captain Michael Carrick is on standby to fill a third midfield role, although Scott McTominay's performance in restraining Ever Banega in midweek may win him a starting shirt once more as the Portuguese looks to put a leash on Chelsea's more creative players.
A back three could potentially narrow down attacking options even more, but it would give Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku the chance to pair up for the first time without fear of stepping on other toes in the forward line.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS
Antonio Conte's outfit have had the ultimate in inconsistent seasons so far, but a win at Old Trafford on Sunday would take them level with United and really mix things up in the race for Champions League qualification.
For the Blues, David Luiz is currently out with an ankle injury and Tiemoue Bakayoko has a knock that he sustained in training. The duo are the only two players currently unavailable for the Man United game. Bakayoko hasn't featured since Chelsea's shock 4-1 defeat to Watford at the start of the month, where his early red card proved costly.
Ross Barkley wasn't selected in Chelsea's matchday squad to face Barcelona in midweek, but he has joined in first team training sessions. That 1-1 draw with the Catalans attracted widespread praise, and another such tactical masterclass could be ordered by Conte as he looks to put his old enemy's nose out of joint.
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Manchester United have won just one of their last 14 matches in all competitions against Chelsea (D5 L8) – winning this exact fixture last season in the Premier League (2-0).
Chelsea will be looking to do the league double over Man Utd for the fourth time in the Premier League and first time since 2009-10 under Carlo Ancelotti (also 2004-05 under Jose Mourinho and 1993-94 under Glenn Hoddle).
Manchester United have lost more Premier League games (18) and conceded more Premier League goals (67) against Chelsea than they have against any other side in the competition.
Antonio Conte has won three of his four meetings in all competitions as Chelsea manager against Jose Mourinho (W3 L1) - twice in the Premier League and once in the FA Cup.
Jose Mourinho has seen his Man Utd side score more than once in just one of their seven home Premier League games against fellow ‘big six’ teams, although it came last season versus Chelsea (W3 D2 L2).
Jose Mourinho has lost only two of his 32 Premier League matches at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager (W18 D12), with both defeats coming at the hands of rivals Man City. Indeed, Mourinho’s (2.06) points per game ratio at Old Trafford for Man Utd is worse than both Louis van Gaal (2.24) and Alex Ferguson (2.42).
Eden Hazard has found the net with each of his last three shots from open play – he had scored with three of his previous 31 open play efforts.
Romelu Lukaku has failed to score in any of his six Premier League matches against the ‘big six’ this season, attempting just four shots on target in those games.