By Nick Teale
When Manchester United travel to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon they do so in search of their first win away to a "Big Four" club since December 2007.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side are on a high after beating local rivals Manchester City to reach the Carling Cup Final on Wednesday night. But they've been dealt a blow by Rio Ferdinand's four-match ban following an unsuccessful appeal against a violent conduct charge.
Ahead of Sunday's match at Emirates Stadium, we spoke to Key 103 sports presenter Hugh Ferris to get his thoughts on this second v third Premier League clash.
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
"The way that they made it to the Carling Cup Final and the team [local rivals Manchester City] that they did it against will give United one of those boosts that over the last few years they have kind of relied on. The ones that they have had this season have come against the odds and I think they are proving that while a lot of people think they're down but not out, United are pretty convinced that their determination will prove their doubters wrong."
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
"Rio Ferdinand's four-match ban is a blow. It's interesting how seriously they took the City game compared with the Arsenal game on Sunday. They were prepared to risk the fact that the ban started on Sunday and not Wednesday night for the Semi-Final. Sir Alex Ferguson is very aware of and is very good at making sure that his priorities are spread and making sure that his squad is spread over those priorities. Bearing in mind how well Ferdinand has played since coming back from a long spell on the sidelines they will definitely miss him."
IMPRESSIONS OF ARSENAL
"United are still an incredibly hard side to beat, as Arsenal experienced earlier in the season when United's backline was at full strength. The Gunners played incredibly well at Old Trafford but just seemed to wilt under the spirit United applied to the game, and that's why the first match between these two sides ended up in a United victory when many neutral observers thought that Arsenal were the better side. I think this will be a game of quality, just as it was last season at Emirates Stadium when Arsenal won."
MAN OF THE MOMENT
"We can only imagine if Cristiano Ronaldo was in the team with Wayne Rooney would he be getting the same amount of goals as he has this season [19 in 22 League games]. It would be quite extraordinary and nobody would be talking about United being on the slide. What Rooney has managed to do is not only assume the responsibility that he knew would come his way, but also find this new position. He's playing like and out-and-out striker and he's a different prospect for many teams who are a little bit surprised because they are used to him playing just off the front man."
"United will fancy their chances on Sunday on the basis that they always do. That's part of the ethos and part of the philosophy; they expect to win games if they play to the best of their ability. I think this season when they have not won those games Sir Alex Ferguson has been disappointed, particularly at Liverpool. Against the top-four sides away from home United have not won this season. They played badly against Liverpool and lost but played well against Chelsea and still lost the game."