Victory is essential for Manchester United to keep up the pace with their rivals as they take on a Cardiff City side who need the points for altogether different reasons.
As far as the home side are concerned, all eyes will be on new record signing Juan Mata, who is poised to make his debut for the champions after joining from rivals Chelsea for £37.1m. Time will tell if he is the player that Man Utd have been crying out for to arrest their slide, which fell to even greater depths last time out as they blew the chance to make their first cup final of David Moyes’ reign, losing a penalty shootout to Sunderland.
There is also a sub-plot regarding Cardiff, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returns to Old Trafford, where he enjoyed great success as a player. He has not wasted any time in signing new players, having already recruited three fellow Norwegians, with two Man Utd players among the latest names who are set to move to South Wales. They won again in the FA Cup on Saturday, but it is Premier League points they need as they sit rock-bottom.
Man Utd will be hoping that key striking pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie can be fit enough to play, while Nemanja Vidic is suspended.
Andrew Taylor is still injured for Cardiff, but other than the left-back, they have a fully-fit squad, with new signing Jo-Inge Berget in line to make his debut.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Man