Glenn Hoddle returns to Southampton on Boxing Day for the first time since deserting the club in March for a switch back to his beloved Tottenham Hotspur. The former Saints boss can expect a vociferous reception from those home supporters who used to idolise him and the brand of attacking football he brought to the South Coast.
Hoddle won 42.3% of his Premiership matches in charge of Southampton - the best win percentage since Bill Dodgin Snr - as he took them to the fringes of a European spot before deciding to up sticks and leave. His decision to quit upset both chairman Rupert Lowe and the whole Saints community who would dearly love to take all three points against the "North London Yobbos".
The first-ever capacity crowd is expected at the St Mary's Stadium, which has been a welcome home for the Saints in recent weeks and where those hardy souls who made the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday will be hoping to find some solace follow the 6-1 mauling the champions inflicted on their team. Wins over Charlton and Sunderland at home have been assisted by a magic spell cast by a pagan witch and Spurs may struggle to break her curse in such a vehement atmosphere.
The Londoners' shooting accuracy of 36% is the lowest ratio in the top flight and Paul Jones, who has not been beaten on home soil in the last two games, will be dearly hoping for some reprieve following the mauling that Sir Alex Ferguson's men meted out to the Saints over the weekend.
If you think Jones can keep another shut-out in a repeat scoreline of the corresponding game exactly a year ago when the Saints triumphed 2-0 at the Dell, then have a 12/1 flutter with online bookies surreySPORTS. A win would no doubt help in your preparations for New Year's.
Another man who is sure to be on the receiving end of some severe verbal abuse along with Hoddle and his assistant John Gorman is Spurs defender Dean Richards. The former Saints stopper left St Mary's in September to team up with his mentor in an acrimonious £8.1 million transfer, as he joined the Londoners to replace Sol Campbell.
Richards has helped Spurs chalk up two clean sheets away from home since his arrival but he should be tested against in-form duo Marian Pahars and James Beattie who have combined well in recent games to cause headaches for Premiership defences. Beattie was particularly unlucky not to score against United on Saturday as he and the little Latvian carved out plenty of chances between them. Pahars pounced for Southampton's consolation strike and has now scored half of all Southampton's 2001-02 Premiership goals.
And if the pair can fire the Saints to another home win, it will certainly complete the Christmas of the majority of supporters inside the St Mary's Stadium and firmly establish Gordon Strachan as a popular choice to lead the club forward.