Had things been different, David Moyes could have rested all his key men for Manchester United's FA Cup third-round tie.
Challenging for the Premier League title and making smooth progress in the Champions League and Capital One Cup, Moyes would have been able to rotate his team for Swansea City's visit to Old Trafford on Sunday.
But the situation is a bit more complicated than that.
On the back of their fourth home defeat of the season against Tottenham on New Year's Day, Moyes can't risk another Old Trafford setback.
Luck might have smiled on the United manager when the draw was made and handed him a kind tie against a lower-league side that could have been swept aside by the reserves.
Instead, he got Premier League club Swansea. Michael Laudrup's side represent a tough task for United. Win, and they were expected to. Lose, and the pressure on Moyes will increase still further.
With United facing a trip to Sunderland for their Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday, Moyes told the press (h/t Manchester Evening News) that he will make changes for the game against Swansea.
We will (make changes). We definitely will because of the two games but its the same for both clubs so there can't be any complaints. I don't think it's right to ask footballers to play Sunday-Tuesday. We did it over Christmas and I totally understand that, the reasons why. I think it's a bit harder to accept in such short notice here.
One player who definitely won't play is Ashley Young, who injured his shoulder in the challenge with Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on Wednesday.
He's got an injury he received from the challenge, it's a shoulder injury, we're not sure exactly how long he will be out. Robin van Persie is coming on, we will let you know when he's ready.
Rio Ferdinand could start after he was an unused substitute against Tottenham and Darren Fletcher, Alex Buttner, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez are all competing for places in the starting XI.
Fabio is also in line to start a game for the first time since the win over Crystal Palace in September.
United vs. Swansea (possible lineup): De Gea, Fabio, Buttner, Ferdinand, Evans, Cleverley, Giggs, Valencia, Kagawa, Welbeck, Hernandez.