The resistible force will meet the moveable object as Manchester City and West Ham, two of the Premier League’s most out-of-sorts sides, do battle at the Etihad on Sunday lunchtime.
It way well be that there are those who think odds of 5/1 on the draw, or indeed 10/1 on an Irons win look generous given the Citizens’ miserable recent run on six losses in their last eight fixtures.
However, this assignment has the look of one custom made to get Manuel Pellegrini’s side back on their bicycles with a win afforded 7/25 status by the oddsmakers.
City have been much superior without Vincent Kompany in the starting line-up this season
The Sky Blues will be without their fearless leader, who may well miss the rest of the campaign with a thigh injury, but the 2014/15 stats back up the visual impression that he’s been off colour.
Having won 42% of the games he has started this term, his colleagues have prevailed on 64% of the 14 occasions in which he was absent from the XI that began the game.
The Irons have lost every visit to the Etihad since City were bought by Abu Dhabi United
Since the fateful day seven years ago when Sheikh Mansour decided to change the lives of downtrodden City fans forever, Sam Allardyce’s men have lost six-straight sojourns to the blue half of Manchester.
West Ham have won twice in their last 15 games across all competitions
While Man City are enduring an uncharacteristically lengthy spell in the doldrums, it’s far from as prolonged a period as the wave of apathy that has engulfed their opponents since Boxing Day.
The Irons are yet to win away to the top seven so far this term, losing four times and drawing twice.
Those two draws came against Tottenham and Southampton, aka the sixth and seventh-placed members of that septet, suggesting the Hammers have a real problem in the strongholds of the division’s most gifted sides.