Manchester United take their first tentative steps towards another trophy at Old Trafford on Wednesday with Sir Alex Ferguson pondering whether to introduce a couple of significant faces to his team to play Newcastle in the Capital One Cup.
In rejecting the potential for Wayne Rooney to feature in last weekend's emotional trip to Liverpool, Ferguson vaguely offered ``next week'' as a possibility for the striker's return from a gashed thigh.
And Ferguson has previously used the fourth competition on his list of seasonal priorities for star men to hit the comeback trail, having done so with Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his first start of the 2008-09 campaign against Middlesbrough after recovering from ankle surgery.
Although Tottenham, Cluj and a Premier League trip to Newcastle are also to come before the next international break, as Rooney has returned to training, a place on the bench cannot entirely be ruled out, particularly as the striker has such a good record against the Magpies.
Rooney will want to make an impact when he does eventually return, having failed to shine in the opening weekend defeat to former club Everton, which resulted in him being dropped against Fulham five days later.
That was the game in which the 26-year-old sustained the deep gash to his thigh that has ruled him out for a month so far, and keen to make up for lost time in his battle for a first-team berth.
Whilst Rooney's participation cannot be taken for granted, it appears to be the perfect opportunity for 18-year-old new-boy Angelo Henriquez.
Delays in securing Henriquez's international clearance following his arrival from Chile meant that Ferguson was unwilling to register the teenager in his Champions League squad.
Having taken the decision not to immediately send Henriquez back to South America as expected, the newly-rebranded League Cup offers the most obvious opportunity for first-team action and it would be a surprise if he was not involved at some stage.
Nick Powell, Alex Buttner and Michael Keane are others who can expect to feature, whilst even more significant will be Darren Fletcher's anticipated presence in the United starting line-up.
Providing Fletcher makes it, the Scotland skipper would be making another major step forward in his battle to combat a chronic bowel complaint, made public in December but which has troubled him since March 2011.
Plenty of changes are envisaged, although as Jonny Evans points out, that is no barrier to success, having been part of the team that reached successive League Cup finals in 2009 and 2010.
``We won it two years in a row by the manager giving younger players a chance,'' said the Northern Ireland defender.
``It was the first trophy I had won with the club. He stuck with the players that time. It is a question of getting over the first couple of games. Before you know it you are playing to get in a semi-final. That ups the ante and gets you on the ball.''
Newcastle midfielder Gael Bigirimana is hoping for another dream moment in his ``ridiculous'' season.
The teenager, who arrived in England as a 10-year-old refugee from Burundi, was handed his senior debut for the club he joined from Coventry this summer in a Europa League clash with Atromitos in Athens last month, and has since tasted Barclays Premier League action as a substitute.
But on Wednesday night, the now 18-year-old could find himself in the Alan Pardew's team and that would represent another high.
Bigirimana said: ``I just keep saying it's been a dream because it's been ridiculous the way things have gone - in a good way - playing as many games as I have.
``Thanks to the manager, he has put his trust in me, and the staff and the players, and I have just got to trust in the manager for the decisions he makes.
``He knows what's best for me because he has already given me the chance to play the games I didn't think I would play, so I have just got to trust him and keep working hard.
``When we heard that we were drawn with Manchester United, it was a really good draw. The club is just massive and the stadium is like a dream for every kid, so I just hope the manager will bring me on or start me.
``If I come on for five minutes, it will be a dream come true - even to just play five minutes, 10 minutes at that stadium.''
Pardew is likely to rest his big names once again but Cheick Tiote could be joined in the squad by skipper Fabricio Coloccini, who has returned from Argentina after staying on for treatment on his hamstring injury.
The manager could receive further boosts later this week with goalkeeper Tim Krul hoping to be given the all-clear to resume after his elbow injury when he sees his specialist on Wednesday and full-back Danny Simpson closing on a return to training following a hamstring problem.