A home fixture against a struggling Newcastle United lies in wait on Boxing Day for the Red Devils, as a congested Christmas period begins to get into full swing.
Sir Alex Ferguson may rotate his side for Wednesday's clash, but should not underestimate a team that are more than capable of springing a surprise at Old Trafford.
Here are six key battles to watch.
Though Newcastle United's beastly centre-back Fabricio Coloccini hasn't been at his best this season, his sheer physical presence in the box should make him a worthy adversary for forward Robin van Persie.
The Argentine has perhaps been overshadowed by defensive partner Michael Williamson at times, but he will still be the primary player Alan Pardew relies on to stop van Persie.
United's £24 million man has already scored a stunning 15 goals in all competitions since making the controversial move to Manchester from London club Arsenal and will look to add to that tally Wednesday.
The key to the battle between the two will be in whether or not Coloccini can deny the Dutchman the space he needs to play his natural game.
It pains me to say this, but Antonio Valencia has not been anywhere near his best this season.
The Ecuadorian winger has been far too one-dimensional in his attacking runs down the right flank, often failing to create the half yard of space he needs to deliver a decent cross into the box.
Against Swansea City at the weekend he looked slow and out of sorts, perhaps still struggling to recover from an earlier injury.
Davide Santon will be the Newcastle man tasked with keeping a lid on Valencia in a Boxing Day matchup that's difficult to predict a winner.
Talk of Newcastle's Cheick Tiote moving on to improved pastures has died a little following his team's poor start to the Premier League season.
Granted, like so many of his teammates, the physical central midfielder hasn't been at his best this term. But he has given Manchester United problems with his style of play in past matches between the two clubs.
Wayne Rooney was one of his side's most disappointing players at the weekend, especially considering his barnstorming performances throughout November and December.
Both players will have a lot to prove on Boxing Day, with neither likely to give an inch in the vital areas of the middle of the pitch.
*Update: Cheick Tiote will be out of the game due to suspension. Newcastle will likely pair James Perch with Vurnon Anita in his stead.
The goal-scoring form of striker Demba Ba has been a rare positive for Newcastle this season, the Senegalese hitman having struck 11 times in the Premier League.
His performances have contrasted greatly with that of his countryman Papiss Cisse, who has looked far from the player that made such an impact since joining the club in January this year.
Nemanja Vidic may be rested for the game, with either Chris Smalling or Rio Ferdinand brought back into the starting lineup to partner Jonny Evans.
Ba must not be allowed to shoot on goal from anywhere on the pitch, with his powerful right boot having done great damage to United in the past.
As bad as some of Manchester United's squandered chances were against Swansea City, the most disheartening aspect of the game was the side's evident lack of fitness.
Too often players were slow to pass, slow to shoot and devoid of the sharpness needed to thrive in the busiest period of the season.
December has typically been the month where the Red Devils have kicked on and begun to play at full force, but if some the team's high profile performers aren't physically 100 percent, one has to fear for their chances this time around.
Perhaps Sir Alex was a little hasty in writing off a potential foray into the winter transfer market (via Goal.com).