The tradition and winning culture embedded into the current roster of Manchester United players, combined with individual stand-out performances against some of the biggest clubs in world football, ensure the defending Premier League champions remain a 'winning club', despite seemingly having failed to successfully retain the crown.
United, led by David Moyes, take on Jose Mourinho's Chelsea on Sunday, January 19 at Stamford Bridge and both sides will be gunning for victory, albeit for different reasons.
For seventh-place United, they will want to maintain pace with those chasing a lucrative place in the top four, while Chelsea - third and just two points shy from Arsenal - will want to continue their toe-to-toe fight for silverware along with Manchester City.
As quoted by the Evening Standard, Mourinho said that, despite United's troubles they are: 'a winning club, with great players.
'Yes, they are in a bad moment but they will want to win. They want to show who they are, there is individual pride, there is club pride. They will come to Stamford Bridge to fight, not just for the points… it’s more than that.'
On the different objectives each club now has after 21 contrasting fortunes in the Premier League, he added: 'They know what we know — the first objective for all of us is to finish top four. The difference between finishing in and outside the top four will be minimal, every point counts. It’s a big game.'
There is a chance that Chelsea's primary transfer target, Wayne Rooney, will feature in the match as there is a hope that the Englishman's hot weather break will aid the player's recovery from groin injury.
image: © Tom Cuppens