Sunderland will look to move closer to safety on Saturday by consigning Ryan Giggs to a first defeat as interim Manchester United boss.
A downbeat Gus Poyet stated after last month's 5-1 hammering that it would take a "miracle" for his Sunderland side to avoid relegation from the Premier League, as they languished at the foot of the table.
The Wearside club have enjoyed a remarkable resurgence since then, though, drawing 2-2 at title favourites Manchester City and pulling off a stunning 2-1 win at Chelsea.
They then rose to the occasion to hammer fellow strugglers Cardiff City 4-0 in a crunch clash at the Stadium of Light last Sunday, a victory that moved Poyet's men out of the bottom three for the first time since February.
United will be a different proposition under Giggs, who replaced the sacked David Moyes last week and savoured a 4-0 victory over beleaguered Norwich City in his first game in charge.
There is a new-found belief that Sunderland can pull of a great escape, though, and they have fond memories of their League Cup semi-final against United in January - when they won on penalties.
Striker Fabio Borini, scorer of two penalties in their last two games, is bullish over the north-east club's chances of staying up and Saturday's trip to Old Trafford holds no fear for the on-loan Liverpool striker.
"We have two more home games left and one away and we need to keep believing." he told the club's official website.
"We’ve made a big step forward and must keep doing the same.
"We must go to Manchester like we did in the cup semi-final, our visit to Manchester (City) a couple of weeks ago, and the game at Chelsea.
"It doesn’t matter who we play against, we play for ourselves first of all."
Borini has struck up a great understanding with Connor Wickham, who has been given a new lease of life by Poyet and heads to Old Trafford with a spring in his step after scoring five goals in his last three games.
History is not Sunderland's side, however, as they have not beaten United on their own patch since way back in 1968.
There has been much talk of Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal being appointed as the next United boss, but Giggs is at the helm until the end of the season and the Welshman will be eager to build on a dream start.
United still have a chance of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League - they are six points behind Tottenham with a game in hand and far better goal difference.
Rafael da Silva (knock) is expected to miss out and the champions will likely be without striker Robin van Persie (knee) once again, though the Dutchman reportedly returned to light training this week.
Poyet could name an unchanged side, although midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini staked his claim for a start by scoring one goal and setting up another after coming off the bench against Cardiff.
|Coach: R. Giggs|
for Nani 52'
for Mata 66'
for A. Young 67'
|Suarez: I left Liverpool for Champions League glory|
|Arsenal´s season a ´disaster´ without Premier League title - Ranieri|
|Modric: Ancelotti is my favourite Madrid manager|
|Klopp: Benteke must help himself|
|Hernandez sidelined for Europa League tie|
|Wenger: Arsenal will attack Leicester|
|Mahrez: Pearson deserves credit too|
|Benfica 1 Porto 2: Herrera, Aboubakar crown memorable derby comeback|
|Van Gaal trusts United over Mourinho rumours|
|Suarez explains tweaks behind ´MSN´ success at Barca|
|Burton Albion 1 Chesterfield 0: Butcher seals win for League One leaders|
|Carpi 1 Roma 3: Dzeko ends drought as Spalletti´s men win again|
|Sporting Gijon 2 Rayo Vallecano 2: La Liga strugglers play out pulsating draw|
|Dundee 2 St Johnstone 0: Hemmings at the double for Hartley´s men|
|Nagatomo: I turned down United move|
|Mainz 2 Schalke 1: Baumgartlinger fires Europa League charge|
|Rennes 1 Angers 0: Injury-time own goal moves hosts up to fifth|
|Tuchel prepared for tough Gundogan talks|
|Ex-Premier League star Bent handed suspended sentence|
|Ajax to take action over Vermeer effigy|
|Damiani: Pogba or Higuain to settle Juventus v Napoli|
|Getafe v Atletico Madrid: Gabi urges Torres to kick on after landmark goal|
|Manchester City v Tottenham: Pellegrini, Pochettino play down pivotal clash|
|Fiorentina v Inter: Icardi remains confident of Champions League qualification|
|Van Gaal: The real fans are right behind Depay|
|Barcelona v Celta Vigo: Rakitic only has eyes for trophies amid record-breaking run|
|FA must protect teams playing in Europe - Pellegrini|
|Varane is Madrid´s future - Zidane shuts down Manchester United rumours|
|Grayson: Vardy sums up Leicester brilliance - and Brad Pitt should play him on screen|
|Arsenal v Leicester City: Wenger out to disappoint football romantics on Valentine´s Day|
|Blanc: No guarantees despite new PSG deal|
|The pressure is on the others - Ranieri seeks to outfox title rivals|
|AC Milan v Genoa: Antonelli desperate to end losing streak|
|New Everton deal until 2019 for Oviedo|
|Lampard wants new deal for ´Mr Chelsea´ Terry|
|´Mini-Mourinho´ Nagelsmann demands respect in Hoffenheim survival fight|
|Pochettino not interested in Leicester v Arsenal result|
|Augsburg v Bayern Munich: Fearless Guardiola expects victory|
|Valcke banned for 12 years by FIFA|
|Hiddink plays down effect of Zouma injury on Terry future|
|Premier League ticket price debate: Wenger, Klopp, Hiddink and fellow managers have their say|
|Zidane won´t rush Bale´s Real return|
|Van Gaal dismisses questions over Manchester United future|
|Costa suffers broken nose in training|
|Kompany fit for crunch Spurs clash|
|Brisbane Roar 2 Newcastle Jets 2: Alivodic own goal rescues point for A-League leaders|
|Xavi excited by prospect of Guardiola, Mourinho duel|
|Robben still key for Bayern - Guardiola|
|Messi ends wait for La Liga award|
|Aston Villa v Liverpool: Hosts have ´no chance´ unless Norwich lessons are learned, warns Garde|
|Besic and Oviedo in line for new Everton deals|
|Khedira could return against Napoli|
|Gradel stepping up Bournemouth comeback|
|Guardiola: No problem with Ancelotti´s Munich visit|
|´Napoli are not all about Higuain´ - Allegri|
|Klopp: Coutinho free-kick one of the smartest in history|
|Dybala and Verratti have Barcelona DNA - Xavi|
|Wenger unworried by Giroud goal drought|
|Mahrez is ´dominating´ the Premier League - Wenger|
|Icardi: I would turn down Manchester United|
|Messi and Neymar inspiring Lukaku to silence the critics|
|Van Gaal impressed by ´excellent´ Giggs|
|Cannavaro sacked by Al-Nassr|
|Van Gaal proud of United work|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Independiente del Valle reach group stage|
|Mauro: Allegri should have Chelsea talks|
|Payet can become West Ham great - Sullivan|
|Rooney a target for Chinese clubs, says Eriksson|
|Klopp expects Liverpool´s Premier League drought to continue|
|Van Gaal: Woodward would tell me if he was speaking to Mourinho|
|Emery urges against Camp Nou final|
|Sagna: Man City still title favourites|
|Trelissac 0 Marseille 2: Fletcher opens account to seal quarter-final spot|
|Arsenal set for US pre-season fixtures|
|Lazio 5 Verona 2: Basement boys routed at Stadio Olimpico|
|Celta Vigo 2 Sevilla 2 (2-6 agg): Aspas brace in vain as Emery´s men reach final|
|Juventus v Napoli: Higuain confident he can handle pressure|
|Tan to write off Cardiff debts|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Lille: Champions seek to celebrate Blanc extension with win|
|Crystal Palace v Watford: Pardew hopes Adebayor can turn season around|
|Allardyce urges Van Gaal to discover Manchester United´s intentions|
|Sunderland terminate Johnson´s contract|
|Payet signs new West Ham contract|
|Oscar: I have no reason to leave Chelsea|
|Chelsea v Newcastle United: Oscar reflects on quest for form at Stamford Bridge|
|Pogba must improve mentality to become like Platini and Zidane - Mauro|
|AFC Bournemouth v Stoke City: Hughes praises Howe´s hard workers|
|Swansea City v Southampton: Koeman needs Wanyama to learn|
|Robinho returns to Brazil with Atletico Mineiro|
|Adidas terminates boot deal with Johnson|
|Sunderland consider Eboue deal|
|Sunderland v Manchester United: Carrick lauds Martial form ahead of key clash|
|Bundesliga record-breaker Nagelsmann replaces Stevens at Hoffenheim|
|Robben: No Manchester City move discussions with Guardiola|
|Borussia Dortmund v Hannover: Milosevic staying positive amid relegation fight|
|Norwich City v West Ham: Bilic eyes chance to build momentum|
|United poised for more heavy spending after record revenue|
|Pardew, Palace ´jealous´ of Leicester´s romantic title bid|
|Everton v West Brom: Martinez wants Goodison fortress|
|Allardyce confirms Johnson omission|
|Real Madrid not on Spalletti´s mind|
|Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao: Valverde´s men out to improve shocking Bernabeu record|
|Angry Afobe hits back at Wolves after ´not trying´ accusations|
|Bojan agrees Stoke extension|
|Celina demanded international game-time - Norwegian FA|
|Manchester United profits surge after Champions League return|
|Prince Ali: FIFA is in crisis and needs to change|
|Aguero eyes further goal joy against Spurs|
|Deeney the perfect partner for Vardy and Kane with England, says Flores|
|Sirigu wanted PSG exit|
|Bordeaux suspend Prior and Sane|
|Saul in no rush to leave Atletico|
|Bilic: West Ham close to Payet deal|
|Martinez rubbishes Jagielka exit talk|
|Tomkins to miss five weeks with calf injury|
|Sunderland to drop Johnson for United match|
|Martinez: Title Leicester´s to lose|
|Xhaka tempted by Premier League switch|
|Carragher proud of Liverpool ticket-price U-turn|
|Mourinho and United a perfect match - McCarthy|
|Blanc extends PSG contract|
|Pulis heaps praise on Peterborough|
|Toranzo did not lose toes - Huracan president|
|Willian expects Terry to depart Chelsea|
|Mexico 2 Senegal 0: Duenas, Pizarro inspire win|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Sao Paulo, Racing qualify for group stages|
|Liverpool should be transparent with Sturridge injuries - Owen|
|FFA hands Wanderers fine and suspended points deduction|
|Luis Enrique: I had to give my voice a rest|
|Silva: I was not kicked off Marseille team bus|
|Blanc could sign PSG renewal by end of week|
|PSG drawn against familiar foes Saint-Etienne in Coupe de France|
|Neville confident Valencia fans will be back|
|Guardiola praises beaten Bochum|
|Coupe de France Review: Ibrahimovic sends PSG through, Nantes win thriller|
|I love penalties - West Brom´s shootout hero Foster|
|Ross County 0 Hearts 3: Dauda dazzles in valuable victory|
|Bayern Munich avoid Borussia Dortmund in DFB-Pokal semi-finals|