Manchester United's unfortunate elimination from the Champions League midweek has only served to spice up the upcoming FA Cup quarter-final tie against Chelsea.
With only two more trophies to play for this season now, Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to concentrate on the FA Cup instead of the Premier League, where the Red Devils currently hold a 12-point lead at the top of the table.
Predicted Starting XIs
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Anderson, Kagawa, Van Persie, Rooney, Hernandez
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Ba
Wayne Rooney vs Jon Obi Mikel
There is little doubt that all eyes will be on Rooney when both teams line up at Old Trafford on Sunday following the saga surrounding his future that dominated headlines throughout the week from not starting the game against Real Madrid.
Never a player who is satisfied after spending a game on the bench, Rooney will definitely be fired up with a point to prove against Chelsea.
Mikel will be handed the vital task of stopping Rooney, and he will be up for a busy afternoon with Rooney being handed the role as the main conduit for United's attacks this season. Whoever comes out on top of this battle will surely be winning half the battle for his team.
Demba Ba vs United defence
Ba's arrival in January has breathed new life into an insipid Chelsea attack and he remains their best bet for goals up front with Fernando Torres still struggling to find his scoring boots.
His physical presence and ability to find the goal from tight spots will be key going up against a tight United defence which has kept four clean sheets in their previous four league games.
The peculiar fact is that Ferguson has been frequently rotating his back line between Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. The understanding between any two of the four of them has been top notch, but they will have to be at full alert to stop a Ba, who is supplied by talents like Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar.
Rafael Da Silva vs Eden Hazard/Juan Mata
Rafael has been in excellent form for United with the thunderbolt of a goal taking the spotlight recently, but his defensive contributions deserve to be highlighted as well with a string of mature performances this season.
However, Benitez will definitely be looking at exploiting Rafael's adventurous runs by combining Hazard's lethal speed and Mata's intelligent play.
The above mentioned duo have shown a propensity to switch positions, and with two very different types of players to deal with, Rafael will have a stern test of his recently-enhanced credentials.