Glenn Hoddle insists we go to Old Trafford with optimism - despite an injury list that has wrecked his preparations, particularly defensively.
A staggering 13 players look set to miss the trip to Manchester as Christian Ziege, although labelled 'doubtful' by the boss, looks unlikely to shake off a calf problem in time.
Anthony Gardner (thigh), Mauricio Taricco (groin) and Chris Perry (knee) are also out after picking up knocks against West Ham. If Ziege fails to make it, the complete back four that started last Sunday will be missing.
That would be tough enough before a trip to United but we are also without five central midfielders in Gus Poyet, Darren Anderton, Tim Sherwood (all knee), Steve Clemence (Achilles) and Steffen Freund (hamstring).
Neil Sullivan (broken thumb), Steve Carr (hamstring), Ledley King (hip) and Alton Thelwell (groin) complete the unlucky 13.
Glenn said: "It will be a massive test because we're getting the injuries in the same area. It's in our defensive department really but we've 13 out.
"The same area is hurting us. There's not much we can do, we've got to go there and perhaps put players into positions they are not used to playing.
"I've not had a settled back four or back three, it's always been messed around every game. That says a lot for the boys who have had to adjust and not got any continuity whatsoever.
"We go with a lot of optimism though. Attacking-wise we can cause them problems and we go with a lot of belief in our play because we've had to do it before this season."
Glenn also revealed that youngsters Rohan Ricketts and Ronnie Henry will be added to the squad travelling to Manchester.