After a thrilling victory in the League Cup semi-final, Sir Alex brings the champions to Emirates Stadium for a show-piece domestic contest with Arsenal.
It should be an occasion to savour between two well-matched teams with a long history of mutual disrespect. Arsenal will be smarting from an unlikely early season defeat against United when many deemed the Gunners to be the better of the two sides on show.
The tightness of the Premiership title race should give the match even more spice.
For different reasons, both clubs have much to prove. After seeing off City, United will want to make another statement that they are back in the groove and ready for the business end of the season.
Arsenal, desperate for silverware after waiting almost half a decade, know that victory over United would set them up perfectly for a most testing three-week period during which they will play Chelsea, Liverpool and a Champions League first leg against Porto.
Boss Arsene Wenger will be buoyed by his team’s recent form and by the knowledge of a certain apprehension that tends to grip United teams traveling to north London for league contests. He will recognise that Arsenal have the defensive solidity, the passing skills and the midfield cunning to triumph.
Yet confidence that a weaker United are there to be beaten should be tempered by the evidence that this Arsenal side is a lesser vintage, when compared to the thrilling unit of just two years ago in which Hleb and Flamini and Adebayor starred.
The Gunners will be wary of the power of a United side which has played within itself for much of this season. United are due a big performance against an elite rival. Sunday at Emirates would be perfect timing.
Here is my five point plan to help United win three points on the Gunners home turf.