Two Premier League titans are licking their wounds after some recent defeats, as well as the loss of some of their key players, as Manchester United host Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday in the sixth round of the FA Cup.
For visiting Arsenal, the loss to Barcelona on Tuesday remains a bitter pill to swallow. The Gunners didn't just lose but were eliminated under dubious circumstances. Manager Arsene Wenger and midfielder Samir Nasri were both charged with improper conduct by UEFA following the club's Champions League loss in the Round of 16, for voicing their displeasure with the referee.
The loss to Barcelona follows the League Cup loss to Birmingham, in which the winning goal was the consequence of a terrible mix-up between goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and central defender Laurent Koscielny.
In other words, Arsenal could use some good luck.
They certainly aren't getting too many positives on the injury front. Not only have they lost star midfielder Cesc Fabregas due to a hamstring injury, they've also lost yet another goalkeeper to injury with Szczesny expected to miss six weeks.
That leaves Arsenal with just Manuel Almunia, a goalkeeper who fell out of favor with Wenger, and was subjected to transfer speculation in January. The backup to Almunia remains up in the air.
The Gunners are also still without Theo Walcott, Alex Song, and Thomas Vermaelen, who has been out since August, and doesn't have a timetable for return.
Arsenal still have plenty of weapons. Samir Nasri has been one of the best midfielders in the world this season. He's joined by striker Robin van Persie, who appears to have recovered from a knee injury.
Meanwhile, Swiss central defender Johan Djourou has provided solid support recently to an Arsenal defense that has been inconsistent all season.
Saturday's match will test the resolve of the Gunners to recover from difficult setbacks.
As for Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has to be pleased to playing at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have had three-straight road games, and lost their last two to rivals Chelsea and Liverpool.
On Saturday, Ferguson will be without star winger Nani, who was lost earlier this week to a shin injury. The 24-year-old Portugese attacker will have plenty of prominent names with him on the bench as Anderson, Michael Owen, Jonny Evans, Ji-Sung Park, and Owen Hargreaves are all nursing injuries, as well.
Central defender Rio Ferdinand and attacking midfielder Antonio Valencia were thought to be possible additions for Saturday's match, but it now seems improbable that either will see action.
Indeed, Ferguson can somewhat relate to the woes of Arsenal. A collection of injuries and a pair of poor results have been demoralizing for Manchester United.
The good news for Ferguson is that he has a rested Nemanja Vidic back in action, after serving a suspension. Some believe Vidic is in the best form of his career, and should garner player of the year consideration.
The Red Devils continue to have a potent attack with Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, and Dimitar Berbatov, though the Bulgarian attacker has struggled to score in recent matches.
When Manchester United dominated Wigan Athletic on February 26, Ferguson was well aware of the tough matches ahead. With two losses to rivals Liverpool, and Chelsea, the famed manager doesn't want a third letdown to Arsenal.
A victory on Saturday would prevent a three-game losing skid to prominent opponents, and provide momentum for the club's Premier League and Champions League hopes.
Arsenal have not won an FA Cup since 2005, while Manchester United have not won since 2004.