Dimitar Berbatov is convinced the two sides battling it out at Stamford Bridge on Sunday will also fill the top two positions in the Barclays Premier League this season.
Manchester United head south knowing victory will allow them to leapfrog present league leaders Chelsea and assume pole position heading into the international break.
"I always think Manchester United and Chelsea will be the top two and I don't think this year will be any exception," he told MUTV. "They will be our main rivals for the title."
Yet not everyone is certain it will stay that way.
Arsenal have started the campaign in excellent form and would draw level with United if they won their match in hand, while Manchester City seem to have spent their Abu Dhabi-backed fortune wisely and could well emerge as a threat.
Berbatov takes that knowledge on board, but he still feels the Red Devils will be taking on the biggest challenge to their bid for an unprecedented fourth successive league title.
He added: "They have great players and a great coach. Everybody knows that. It is still early but I think the title will be between us two."
Although United have not registered an away win over Chelsea since 2002, during Claudio Ranieri's time at the west London outfit, Berbatov has enjoyed some personal success against the Blues. His record of four goals in 10 encounters includes a penalty for Tottenham during the 2008 Carling Cup final as the White Hart Lane club went on to lift the trophy.
In an ideal world, Berbatov's run would continue. But the Bulgarian admits he would take a single goal from a defender right now if it meant United could head back to the north-west clutching those precious three points.
"I scored plenty of times against them with Tottenham, now I want to continue with Manchester United," he said. "I would be glad to score a couple against them but it is not about one player."
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