Once upon a time, Tottenham and Manchester United were both members of the 'Big Five' fraternity of English football, but then much has changed in modern England since the Thatcher era.
Spurs have long under-achieved at the top level and, with Arsenal falling by the wayside in recent weeks, the Red Devils are literally in a league of their own as they cruise eight points above the dawdling pack.
The famous Spurs lyrics from their 1987 FA Cup final song "Seven times we've won the cup and number eight is coming up" could easily translate into a contemporary United chant. Alex Ferguson's team have strolled to victory in their last seven league outings and will be gunning to keep that run going on Saturday.
Recent history does not imply that the north Londoners are about to stop that trend. Spurs have not registered a win at Old Trafford since the 1989-90 season, and they have lost their last six away games on the trot, gaining just a solitary point outside of White Hart Lane this term. However, George Graham's side have demonstrated a renewed vigour of late, and back-to-back home wins against Liverpool and Leicester will ensure they travel with a degree of confidence.
The presence of Sol Campbell will bolster a defence that has leaked an average of 1.40 goals per game - although he freely admits that he is not yet 100% fit: "I'm playing catch up and it is like another pre-season really, mixed up with the games. I've got to do a little here, a little there, rest and catch up." However, it should be noted that the big defender's return last week coincided with Spurs' first clean sheet in eight attempts.
But United will be ready to capitalise on any extra inch of space they are afforded, as their rampant stats suggest. The Champions are the most accurate passers in the division - 17 percentage points better than Spurs -and also the highest scorers with 39 goals.
The midfield trio of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and David Beckham have weighed in with 54 defence-splitting passes and 10 goal assists between them this term. And a 77% team tackle success rate - six percentage points better than the visitors - indicates that United are always hungry for the ball when they lose it.
This game could be the story of the ageing stars with two thirtysomething strikers on view. Teddy Sheringham has been in electrifying form for the Reds and is rated at 14/1 to notch a hat-trick against his former club. But Spurs can look to Les Ferdinand to cause an upset after his hat-trick last weekend, and he is quoted at 60/1 to score the only goal of the game.
Of course, Tottenham will need the ball at their feet to complete that task, and substantial spells of possession can be considered a luxury against United these days.