MANCHESTER United coasted past Crystal Palace in midweek, thrashing the Eagles 3-0 in the third-round Carabao League Cup match at Old Trafford. They’ll be expected to do the same again today in the Premiership.
That was the first time this season that Erik ten Hag’s side won two games in a row.
And now, with their spirits lifted a little, their faithful fans will be counting on making it three on the trot.
Given the talent in this squad, assembled for in excess of £1bil, they should get past Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace again.
Yet Palace still trail the Red Devils by a single point in the league standings, such has been Man United’s woefulness so far this season.
And that is why they will need to win again today – failing which, they will be ridiculed and ten Hag’s tenure will be called into question.
As things stand, they should win comfortably, like they did in midweek.
That was a confident and purposeful performance, highlighted by a solid shift from Casemiro and a workman-like showing by Diogo Dalot and Moroccan Sofyan Amrabat, impressive on his full debut.
But despite all the positives for Man United, a little complacency could well upend them again.
This is mostly because the team they will face today will probably be a lot different from the one they swept past in the Carabao Cup tie.
Hodgson is expected to make a handful of changes, including bringing back the influential Eberechi Eze and Marc Guehi.
Ten Hag himself is likely to make a few changes of his own.
Victor Lindelof, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford are expected to get the nod and return to the fold when Palace return to Old Trafford.
Brighton and Hove Albion might have been eliminated from the Carabao Cup and elbowed out Chelsea, but they are expected to raise their game when they travel to Aston Villa, who were knocked out by Everton.
Brighton are in solo third place on the log, while Villa have been equally good – they are sixth and punching above their weight.
The coming together of these two should be a closely fought encounter, with the Seagulls edging it by the odd goal.
West Ham, who slipped out of the top four last weekend and are down to seventh, should still have too much firepower for Sheffield United.
The league’s newcomers are dead last, without a win and just one point to show for their first six matches.