Certainly one of the weirder times these two clubs have ever met. And considering this will be the 173rd meeting between Manchester United and Chelsea, that's saying something.
Despite the Red Devils having been the preeminent footballing power in England for some time now, Chelsea have usually had relatively great success at Old Trafford. Most recently, we have three draws and a 1-0 win to show for our last four visits to the Theatre of Dreams, and we're unbeaten in our last 8 overall against United. We probably would've won here last season, too, were it not for a phantom free kick and some horrendous set piece defending in the dying moments.
We have lost just nine of our past 40 visits to Old Trafford for a league game, while Man United have won only six of their last 24 Premier League games against the Blues.
-source: Chelsea FC
But both teams have fallen on hard times this season, and while United's league position isn't anywhere near as tragic as ours, Louis van Gaal's departure seems to be a matter of 'when' rather than 'if' at this point.
That shouldn't be our main concern of course. We have a season to still try to rescue into some coherency. So, just win, baby.
Date / Time: Monday, December 28, 2015, 17:30 GMT; 12:30pm EST; 11pm IST
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Referee: Martin Atkinson — Chelsea have failed to win the last five under Atkinson (0-3-2). He took control of this same exact fixture in 2013-14 and we failed to win then as well (0-0).
Forecast: Sunny early, then turning cloudy, but a welcome break from the rains.
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBCSN, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports 1 / HD 1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)
Manchester United team news: All eyes are on Louis van Gaal, with some reports going even as far as claiming that the United manager will be out, win, lose, or draw on Monday. His replacement could very well be lined up already, and it's not a very big secret. Even Stoke City fans seemed to be in the know, taunting Van Gaal, the Red Devils, and their fans (and Chelsea fans, too, as a bonus) with chants of "Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho" on Saturday.
The 2-0 loss to Stoke was United's third in a row, fourth in all competitions. They have taken just 2 points from their last 5 Premier League matches. Just 3 wins from 14 overall (and 7 without a win on the bounce) — that's worse than Chelsea have been at any point this season!
United are a low-scoring side (fewer goals than us, in fact) but have the best home defensive record in the league, having conceded just 3 times all season.
Van Gaal has several fullbacks on the injury list, including Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, and Matteo Darmian (probably). Young Jesse Lingard is expected to miss out as well, but the cadaver of the footballer once known as Bastian Schweinsteiger has been reanimated once again after serving a suspension.
Chelsea team news: Diego Costa's suspended, just as he finally seemed to be breaking out of his rut. Loïc Rémy, as it's been his nasty habit since signing 18 months ago, has apparently picked up some sort of "minor injury" as well to make himself a doubt just when we need him the most. Radamel Falcao is nowhere near match fit. Who will thus play at center forward is a bit of a mystery.
Eden Hazard's injury status is also unknown, while it turns out that Cesc Fàbregas had to stay behind in London due to a fever. Or at least that's what we're led to believe. Never a day without potential drama at Chelsea Football Club. Help us, Obi-Wan Mikelobi; you're our only hope!
With just 3 losses in our last 10 matches, Chelsea's fortunes seem to be improving, though only slowly and taking a rather scenic, circuitous route. Three points here would certainly get us back on a far more direct route.
Previously: Those were the days...