With Chelsea and Arsenal occupied by the FA Cup, Manchester United will leapfrog the two London clubs to go top of the table by winning the only match of the weekend programme.

The champions may be smarting from their early exit from the competition, but all that will be forgotten if they are sitting top of the standings come Saturday night.

Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Bolton in midweek sent them top on goals scored and relegated United to third, but just a point behind the top two.

It has not been a good week for United, though, with annual accounts revealing that the club’s parent company’s debt has soared to 716.5 million pounds ($1.15 billion).

The role of the Glazer family has caused consternation and anger among many United fans and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has even been urged to take a stand.

On the pitch they were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final, but the arrival of Hull should brighten the mood at Old Trafford.

Despite their recent draw at Tottenham, Hull have struggled on the road again this season, still chasing their first away win.

New signing Amir Zaki won’t be considered because he is short of match fitness but United will be wary of taking anything for granted given their recent inconsistency, not least their Cup defeat by Leeds.

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