Manchester United travel to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with the visiting manager having a point to prove in familiar territory.
A 4-0 defeat for Jose Mourinho and his Red Devils side last season was hard to take for the former Blues boss and the Portuguese tactician will be keen to avoid anything close to symbolising a repeat.
With a touchline altercation with Chelsea equivalent Antonio Conte also adding spice to that fixture, Sunday’s game promises fireworks.
From the last time these teams met in London, the respective clubs have been heading in alternative directions.
After some very shrewd summer recruitment, United look like a side with more quality, experience and a tougher mentality this season – with the results going their way this term even without blistering performances at times.
As such, relatively short odds with bookmakers and new casinos of 2/1 for an away win could be a good bet.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have lost last season’s feeling of invincibility and now look fractured, technically weaker and more susceptible at the back.
While United will fancy their chances this time around more than they did in 2016-17, Mourinho will surely approach the game with caution and look to blunt the home side’s attacking weaponry.
As such, a possible three-man central midfield and the use of Ashley Young in front of one of the full-backs would not come unexpected.
A relatively routine 2-0 win at home to Benfica on Wednesday night followed last weekend’s important 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, with United entering the game on the back of positive results.
Mourinho opted to shake up his pack in midweek and as such the likes of Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitarayan started on the bench but should return at Stamford Bridge.
The Armenian has struggled since Paul Pogba’s injury but his class is undoubted – have a bet on him scoring at any time at odds of 4/1.
Cheslea, on the other hand, were unnervingly dispatched 3-0 in the Italian capital by Roma, with the Blues usually frugal defence sliced apart by the Serie A side.
Given the respective positions in the Premier League standings of the sides, the hosts will be expected to come out and dictate the agenda, with pressure on Conte to record a morale-boosting win over a title rival.
This could well fall into the hands of Mourinho, who will look for his side to absorb pressure, blunt the opposition and hit on the break through the speed of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
The United manager has specialised in 1-0 wins in tight games at his current and past employers – for the away side to prevail by this margin is at 17/2.
Victory for United in this much-anticipated clash would be another example of the club’s improvement and go a long way to instilling a belief in the supporters that the Red Devils can challenge for major silverware this season.