It's an early preview for the weekend's game but what should one do if all he can get from Skysports news is Thierry Henry's handball last night?
After a two week break, club football resumes for the long haul this weekend and it couldn't have re-started any sooner for United. We are a club that thrives on wins so it's sickening when your last game reads 'L'! The defeat to Chelsea was hard to take given the way we played and the fact that we went five points behind means that we have it all to do between now and the new year to address our position in the league. The Champions League is not an issue now that we are into the last 16 and the Carling Cup has it's hungry players; what we really need to do now is push on the league and go on a winning run, the kind that sent us to the top of the league last season.
The players and fans alike have been talking about going on a winning run but I really hope that they realise it's not a given right that United will win all its games until the visit to the Emirates.
If we can build on the quality we showed at Stamford Bridge then we can pick up those thirty points, and I'm quite sure we'll be top then. We seem to have maintained our poor run of results against the other members of the 'big four' in the league so we cannot afford to lose points against the lower league sides.
Sir Alex's ban starts next week so he will be available to give the fourth official an earful in the Old Trafford dugout. Most of our players have been away on International duty so I hope the fitness levels will be high. You fear for the likes of Evra who played for two hours on Wednesday. O'Shea picked up a knock so it will be interesting who Fergie picks to replace him in case he fails to recover. Berbatov broke the Bulgaria goal scoring record for the national side in mid-week and he should make his return alongside Wayne Rooney. Park played for Korea in mid-week and should therefore be available and so will Nemanja Vidic. I doubt if Ferdinand will be fit till next month.
Other than that, the manager has the freshness of Owen, Giggs, Scholes and Neville to count on if he wishes so.
United have not yet started winning league games convincingly and that is largely down to the poor finishing we've shown of late. I hope we really get into the mood of finishing off teams early and taking our chances because that is what will determine our run in into the new year.
Chelsea's lead is not unassailable, but it largely means that we cannot afford to drop any further behind. That is the mentality that our players should have from now till May.