When the two teams emerge from the Old Trafford tunnel, Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is due to have a roaring applause. The United legend sent Old Trafford into raptures several times during his 11 year stay between 1996 and 2007. He scored 126 times in 366 games; however, it only took one moment for him to etch his name forever in United folklore.
Unfortunately, after the applause ends, the Theatre of Dreams will literally turn into the Threatre of Nightmares for Cardiff and Solksjaer. A brilliant run of form at the beginning of the season saw Cardiff well placed in the top 10; Cardiff now find themselves in last place.
Solksjaer has identified many players to come in and fix the holes in the Cardiff squad, though none of them will be ready for an appearance in today's match.
Given most of the reinforcements Solksjaer has targeted are forward players, in theory, United's defence should remain largely untroubled.
However, United have had many troubles at the back this season and Cardiff have the players to cause damage to United's particular weaknesses at the back.
In Whittingham they have a player who is brilliant at set-pieces; Craig Noone is a proficient dribbler who can target the full backs and former player Campbell is a poacher who will be waiting for any slip ups and is fast enough to get away.
Manchester United have conceded a whopping 9 goals from set pieces, so it is easy to see how the aforementioned can contribute into making that tally higher by the end of the game.
Nonetheless, despite their weaknesses, armed Juan Mata United now have a formidable attack capable of rivaling Liverpool's and Manchester City's.
It is doubtful Robin van Persie will be back in time for today's match, but Wayne Rooney is and together with Adnan Januzaj United should have too much for Cardiff who tend to struggle when defending against skillful opponents.
With Mata due to start on the right wing, he should have a field day against Cardiff's left back. Left back has been a problematic position all season with several players playing that role and Mata can take advantage of that by linking up with his more dynamic partners and causing a nuisance with his penetrative passing.
As it stands, Mata is due for a memorable debut and he should help edge a United victory.
Manchester United 2-1 Cardiff City